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The hedonic treadmill

treadmill-150x150is ‘the tendency of a person to remain at a relatively stable level of happiness despite a change in fortune or the achievement of major goals. According to the hedonic treadmill, as a person makes more money, expectations and desires rise in tandem, which results in no permanent gain in happiness.’

‘Hedonic’ means ‘of, relating to, or characterized by pleasure’; whereas ‘hedonism’ is ‘the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the sole or chief good in life’

Read about the hedonic treadmill:


Comments on: "The hedonic treadmill" (1)

  1. the closet academic said:

    To clarify:

    In the “hedonic treadmill” theory, there IS an instantaneous rise (or fall, works both ways) in happiness level. However, it is over time that expectations adjust, resulting in them falling back to the same level of happiness, or adjusting to a certain lower or higher constant level of happiness.

    So an example of this – striking 4D/Toto gives you an immediate instantaneous happiness, but discount that over your entire lifetime and you’re not really much happier.

    Conversely, if one becomes paralyzed as a result of some accident, he or she will eventually adjust his or her activities and expectations to a certain level befitting his or her current status, and again, over time, he or she is not really much more sad than he or she was before.

    Incorporating Behavioral Psychology with Economics is one of the current trends in the study of Economics at higher tertiary level, for those who are interested in pursuing an Economics degree after the ‘A’ Levels.

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