• KMS team


Updated: Aug 2, 2020

This is a short article on why we do things that we like or things that we know are bad for us. It is written by Jay Kumar from DAV, Darbhanga, one of the KMS family members.

Why Do We Do Things We Don’t Like

“You will do what you like” This is what many of us have heard from our childhood. But many times it doesn’t align with our experiences, we constantly find ourselves doing what we don’t like.

Ever wondered why would someone smoke knowing that it can cause him cancer and eventually lead to death, or why do they eat so much if they want to be in a good shape. If looked closely we would find ourselves in similar situations.

Once you understand how the human brain prioritizes rewards, the answer becomes quite evident – We do whatever gives pleasure in the present moment, no matter what it may yield in the future. We are always in search of Instant Gratification. Smoking might kill in ten years but it reduces stress and satisfies nicotine craving in the present moment. Overeating may be harmful in the long term, but appetizing at the moment. That’s why they may be doing these things even though they don’t like it.

Every behavior produces various outcomes overtime - with a bad habit, the immediate outcomes usually feel good, later, outcomes feel bad. And the opposite of good habits.

Wanting is cue triggered and has motivational magnet effects that cause an individual to be strongly attracted to certain reward stimuli, whereas Liking has declarative goals involving an explicit expectation of future outcomes.

Wanting is not a hedonic impact or pleasure ‘liking’. The dissociation of feelings or thoughts (wanting vs liking) is possible because wanting mechanisms are largely subcortical and separable from the liking mechanisms.

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