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February 24th, 2013 by radu stoica | Posted in Other Topics | No Comments » | 62 views | Print this Article


By Psychologist Radu Stoica


Every day  illusions are offered to us. Illusions for sale. It is quite a lucrative market for some. Gadgets, mobile phones , tablets and computer games , all kinds of objects that delight the consumer to buy, even to borrow money just to take possession of the latest news in the field. All advertising associated with the marketing of products that offer illusions, has a unique message : “Buy Now , our product is absolutely necessary to have it now , it’s super tender, do not buy their product , because ours is the best” . And if you recently bought a similar product from the same producer, they have a message for this situation too: “in vain do you bought last year a cell phone out of us. This year’s model is much better known to all, is much better than the old product , to which this new product is a revolution in the field now .” If so or not, opinions are divided. Most often major electronics manufacturing companies providing illusions , are tried in courts across the planet because they copied each other different ideas, projects , patents . And all this on the buyer’s money. Which in turn let themselves influenced by all this commercial campaign , and buy without comment  everything that is new in the field, and believing the producers which strongly support the undeniable usefulness of their products , although those buyers end up using only a small portion of the applications offered by those gadgets. I read an article recently where reference is made to one of the major manufacturers of electronics, which has invested $ 12 billion in advertising. Very interesting. Why would a manufacturer of electronic invest an amount of money, so large, in an aggressive advertising ? In order to make the world better? As to grow the global economy?  To create jobs? Possible. But more important is to eliminate competition. Therefore offer all sorts of promotions , otherwise well studied of older products , in stock , or newer products that they sell at prices comparable to the competition , so to make a profit and the consumer prefers product that , as it has a little more affordable price and similar options, or even something more. Caught in the trap of shopping , the consumer is forced to buy , first to be fashionable , because if there is an older phone or a TV that is not the latest generation of LCD or LED, he becomes an undesirable character, anachronistic and misfit. School children can not stay in class without touch screen phones , the latest generation of phones necessarily more expensive than their teachers’, so to send messages to one another not only by the old SMS , and also by e- mail or blue- tooth. And all of this happens during class hours. After their possibilities. It is not their fault. Who spends the money, is responsible. But that is not a problem. Until it is time to change something. Not much, but something. Probably when each will have the house full of devices and gadgets that use to work great, but offer illusions, consumers will realize the situation they are in.

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Pleasure Parameters and Behavioral Evolution

February 7th, 2013 by Robert DePaolo | Posted in Psychology | No Comments » | 66 views | Print this Article

By Robert DePaolo



This article discusses pleasure as a necessary concomitant of organic behavior and consequently as an impetus in the evolution of increasingly complex behavior patterns. Pleasure is viewed as a function of uncertainty reduction – as per information theory principles, and since uncertainty bears some relationship to systemic complexity the size of bodies and brains is tied to ever-increasing capacity for pleasure, as well as an expanding evolutionary-based behavioral repertoire.

Evolutionary psychology is a relatively new field with intriguing implications. Among the most interesting is the idea that humans share many common behavior patterns with other creatures and that such primal/genetically determined patterns are, while viewed as immoral or antisocial in many instances, ultimately natural to man and more important necessary to our survival. (Miller (2000), (Symms 1979) (Elkadar & Wilson 2008).

Certain aspects of the EP thesis seem paradoxical. For example the supposition that acts of jealousy, sexual opportunism and social deception are necessary to survival (Buss 1992) is hard to reconcile with the fact that such acts often lead to social discord and counteractions that actually entail aggression and jeopardize the survival of members within the group.

Some advocates of EP would logically assert that as Darwin proposed, survival is multifaceted. Individuals do what they must to pass on their own genes, but also act to ensure that the generic family line is continued. Therefore while jealousy and promiscuity might somehow enhance reproduction rates for an individual, altruism might do the same for the group (Trivers1971).

Others have offered similar criticisms of conflict of EP, for example Gannon (2002) and Buller (2005) but in this discussion the author would like to focus on one element of the theory in particular. It has to do with the Raison d’etre of behavioral evolution, which is not survival per se but the pleasure response. No organism, with the possible exception of  homo sapiens, has any sense that its behavior has long term evolutionary consequences. Most creatures do what they do in response to immediate concerns. For instance, low energy states (glucose depletion in particular) lead to hunger which prompts food finding behaviors. Hormonal tensions and signs of estrus lead to mating behaviors and so on. Thus in the truest, existential sense, behavior, and consequently behavioral evolution are driven by the pursuit of pleasure, which is the intermediary, short term, perceptible code by which long-term adaptation is facilitated.

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