adaption -level phenomenon: Clarissa

Adaption -level phenomenon: this is the tendency to judge our experiences by comparing them to past experiences.  For example, the book explains that as our income rises, or our social prestige improves we feel pleasure. But as time goes on, we adapt. What once felt good now feels just normal- and what was normal or neutral before now feels like deprivation.  This phenomenon also entails our ability to judge our adaptive capacity.  Often we underestimate our adaptive capacity.  We have a hard time predicting the intensity and duration of our future positive and negative emotions.

In the movie Home Alone, Kevin (the main character) is at first very happy when he finds himself at home alone- with the house to himself.  But as time goes on- the excitement lessens- and he finds himself missing his family.

In this movie Kevin thought he would be super happy being home alone- without his annoying family around. When Kevin is alone, the excitement of being home alone evaporates more rapidly than he had expected.  In this situation- Kevin underestimated his adaptive capacity.

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  1. #1 by ryanturner1989 on June 7, 2012 - 11:25 PM

    Clarissa, I thought this was a great example of the adaptation phenomenon. The only reason why Kevin, as you pointed out, thought that he was happy was by comparing his current state – home alone – with his past state. Also, when he realizes that he actually misses his family, it’s because of him comparing his current state – again, home alone – with his past state – the presence of a, albeit annoying, dependable family. 🙂

  2. #2 by samuelsalik on June 8, 2012 - 12:00 AM

    Ryan has pretty much said it all. I also believe this also happen because naturally human beings have the tendency to adapt quickly and have the need to experience new things or go back to where they are comfortable. New can be exciting, at the same time, old gives us comfort and security. I feel the same way as I’m sure many of us have the same tendency. Therefore, we are all normal human beings. =)

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