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Showing posts from November, 2012

Anticipation is Better than Reality

When it comes to vacations, when are you happiest? A. One month before you leave B. Three days into the trip C. As soon as you return According to research out of the Netherlands published in the Applied Research in Quality of Life, sadly, we are happiest when we are planning the vacation. In fact, when we return, we are no more happy than the non-vacationer. That’s right, the anticipation of a vacation is better than the reality of being on the vacation. Logic tells me that this doesn’t just apply to vacationers. Expectations are almost always bigger than reality – the bigger the reward, the more likely this is to be the case. Dopamine is hard at work. Dopamine is the chemical released in our brain in anticipation of reward. It drives us to chase the reward – more often and with greater force. Buying anything that we’ve wanted is our dopamine-related reward. Bigger purchase, bigger reward, more dopamine. While we all think that purchases from local stores have an advantage over inter…