3 Minute Monday
I gave my first talk at a proper academic conference this weekend.
The Human Behaviour and Evolution Society in Palm Springs was a lot of fun.
I learned about semen displacement, sugar daddies, incels, the evolutionary story of meaning and a ton more.
Expect lots of the speakers to be coming on Modern Wisdom over the next few months.
Anyway, onto what I’ve been thinking about this week.
The Fading Affect Bias.
The goodness and badness of memories fade over time, but the badness fades faster.
Some bad memories even become good memories, while good memories rarely become bad memories.
It makes sense that both joy and pain fade with time—stuff just feels less intense when it’s farther away—but why does pain fade faster?
It’s because when bad stuff happens to us, our psychological immune systems turn on.
We start to rationalise (“Why would I want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me?”), downplay (“Breakups happen all the time in high school, it’s no big deal”), distance (“I never liked her that much anyway!”) and distract (“I’m gonna go play video games”).
These mental processes function like emotional antibodies, taking the sting out of bad memories.
We don’t use them on good memories, so good memories keep their lustre longer.
Everything is temporary, bad stuff especially.
“Tragedy + time = comedy” is the closest thing psychology has to a chemical equation. — Adam Mastroianni
So even when things are going badly, know that in future you’ll probably be able to laugh about this.
Discomfort in the present can be very painful, don’t make it worse by fearing how you’ll feel about it in the future, you’ll be fine.
This week’s upcoming episodes:
Tony Volk – the evolutionary psychology behind bullying. Why does it exist? What sort of people bully? Do bullies earn more money or get more sex? Fascinating. Must listen.
Kevin Kelly – the founder of Wired Magazine on his lessons for a good life. Some amazing aphorisms, habits and insights around how to become a good, happy human.
900k Q&A – why did I not release a podcast I recorded with Andrew Tate? Why have I grown a moustache? Plus other queries.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
Relationship status affects men’s choice of sexual experiences with sex workers.
A recent study showed that men who were in a committed romantic relationship preferred the “porn-star experience” with escorts more often, which consisted of mainly sexual encounters.
Single men tended to prefer the “girlfriend experience,” which resembles pair-bonding, they tended tended to portray that they cared about the sex workers more and did not prefer to have kinky interactions.
Single men who preferred the “girlfriend experience” also tended to repeatedly book the same sex worker and engage in banter and provide tips and gifts.
This suggests that when men’s mating preferences and strategies are largely unconstrained by women’s preferences, men seek both pair-bonding and sexual variety.
“We also found that their preference for one was at least partially influenced by fulfilment of the other—husbands were more likely than single men to choose the sexual experience that reflects variety (the porn star experience) over relationships (the girlfriend experience).
These findings are consistent with the presence of dual-mating strategies in men and highlight the fact that men seek both sexual variety and pair-bonding.”
Does the fact that single men prefer the girlfriend experience over the porn-star experience suggest that men prioritise companionship over sexual variety when prioritising what they want from scarce female company? — PsyPost
America is in a bad spot if there’s a ground invasion.
76% of adults aged 17 to 24 are either too obese to qualify or have other medical issues or criminal histories that would make them ineligible to serve in the US Armed Forces without a waiver.
Just get some sleep bro.
“People who increased their quantity of sleep over a four-year period got the equivalent happiness increase as they would have from 8 weeks of therapy, or from winning up to $280,000 in a lottery.” — Rob Henderson
Reorder on Uber Eats.
I eat a lot of the same meals from the same restaurants on delivery apps.
The Reorder button which lives deep in your account history allows you to exactly copy previous orders, including custom modifications and everything else, with a single button.
Your elaborate Chipotle burrito now seems less effortful.
Really, get some sleep.