Private traps

Favorite quotations, etc.
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Private traps

Post by Did » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:56 am

Posts: 494
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Private traps

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:59 pm

I still believe Browne does a good job categorizing traps and helping us recognize we are inside of one. However, he falls short in describing why we choose to enter them. In many cases it may simply be conditioning like in Jacob's examples of a dog with electric fence-->fence removed and behavior remains modified. We are intelligent animals, but animals nonetheless.

Personally, I believe fear and loss aversion are the largest instigators to trap building. Emotional or logical fear of the unknown coupled with already having something of value is a strong motivator to maintain an inferior, yet tolerable form of life. Perhaps this is why studies show happiness dividends from wealth clearly level out once one believes one is doing slightly better than peers (less fear of unknown than peers) and why those in less affluent geographic regions of the world tend to score higher on happiness levels (less loss aversion).

Anecdotally, I have only been able to overcome the most stubborn personal traps in my life when misery on a physical, emotional and/or intellectual level clearly outweighs what I risk losing. Sometimes this misery is heavy and acute, other times low-level with chronic build-up. The frequency and recency of "starting over" and pushing limits of traps is clearly associated with my current level of willingness to do so again (ie level of misery required to make changes). Systematic desensitization and recency effect are no doubt in play here.

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