Sunday, February 10, 2013

Evolution and Modern Behavioral Problems

             Evolution and Modern Behavioral Problems

Chapter 15 was not as interesting and engaging as the previous chapters that were previously read. This chapter would be more engaging if the results of the findings with drug addiction were highlighted, and more detailed. Even though I did not favor chapter 15, I will illuminate Step Four: Malfunction and Discordance, in this Chapter, because it “ stood out” to me further than the other steps of evolutionary analysis of modern behavioral problems (table 15-2), in relation to my life.  

I learned a host of new information in this section. I didn’t know that dopamine mediates the amount of effort put into reaching a goal (287). But this sentence does make sense, because if something pleases you, then an individual will want to continue that pleasure and do whatever it takes to get that feel of pleasure or adrenaline rush, to get a desired effect/feel, thus reaching that goal…right? I can relate to this (not in relation to drugs, nor addiction), but when I want to reach a goal, I feel really great internally (mentally), and as I’m going for a goal there is a moment of happiness/pleasure. In retrospect of this chapter, the lack of dopamine can lead to deficits in goal directed behavior. So if someone was/is unmotivated, can we give individuals a shot of dopamine to get them back on track, and competitive? Or does dopamine have to be naturally created/stimulated in the human body to receive the same goal driven effect? I found it very interesting when this chapter equated pleasure of a drug to reaching a goal (of taking a desired drug).

What I found to be ultimately interesting was when the chapter stated that stressful environments promote risk-taking behavior and a focus on short-term benefited by the participants (287-288). I’m guilty to this behavior. Before my dieting and weight loss, I ate sugar all day! Even though I understood the saying, “A moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips”, I continued to satisfy my appetite despite my awareness of the future outcome. How can things like this be prevented?

Random: What do you guys think rats would prefer…Sugar or Cocaine and why?

1 comment:

  1. When it comes to dieting and weight loss, I feel like a specific cycle develops that makes it difficult for people to reach their goals. For example, if you're in a stressful environment, you basically want a way out of the situation, even if you're very well aware of any detrimental effects and the fact that it will only be a temporary freedom. So even though you know that whatever drug you take or whatever food you eat will only be a temporary fix, you still go ahead and take it (and if you must, you'll seek it out too). But after you stop, you start craving that feeling again of 'escape' and the increase in momentary pleasure so you simply go back to the source. Many times there's a continuation of this cycle. But just as the Adaptive Analysis section of the chapter states, we can't claim that drugs or food are the cause of addiction. I believe that stressful environments are the key here and for one to maintain a healthy lifestyle, one must focus on finding solutions that pertain to them as an individual and this goes hand in hand with how not all animals respond in the same way to stimulation. In the long run, it's imperative to learn how to manage possible triggers and at the same time, create and develop a personalized and balanced atmosphere for ourselves.