Adaptation-Level Phenomenon By Kelsey Lemmon

The adaptation-level phenomenon is our ability to judge a situation based on our previous experiences with it. We then adapt to this new situation or level, using our previous experiences as a guide. Once we have reached this new level, we adapt to it and it becomes part of our normal routine.  Our previous level seems to not measure up anymore. The happiness received from the previous success doesn’t last.

Despicable me illustrates this example in a silly way. It shows Gru, who is not satisfied with the small things he has adapted to stealing. He wants more. I couldn’t find the clip in youtube, but basically it shows him identifying all the objects they have stolen over the past year. They have adapted each time to a higher level of theft. His big new plan is to steal the moon! Gru has become greedy, wanting to outdo those around him, as well as reach the next highest level.

I think this can be applied to greed. I think humans become greedy through this adaptation level phenomenon. Once we have adjusted to a higher level of living, we cannot bear to think of going back to where we once were. In addition, I think it causes to want to continue to adapt and move up to a new level. In applying this to society today, we can see this happening everywhere, and in all aspects of life. It happens with power, with money, with material things. I think it even can happen in dating and relationships.

  1. #1 by jennaehaug on June 6, 2012 - 2:47 PM

    Greed can be so manipulative, but I agree! Adaptation is part of life, and we quickly forget what is was like to live a “lesser quality” life when we live in “higher quality.” We may then become judgmental and critical of others. It is important to be grateful for the things we have, but not lose sight from where we came from. That is, we can be happy with the adaptations that have occurred, but we should never forget the beginning of that adaptation.

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