Stress Promotes Habit, Reduces Novelty Seeking

Discussion in 'Mind, Sleep, Stress' started by haidut, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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    I was surprised to find out that this connection is apparently well-known. If this is true, then how can a company expect its employees to solve problems and exhibit creative behavior if it keeps them under constant stress (competition) by the very definition of proper business practices.
    This is yet another confirmation of powerful effect of stress on hormones and their negative impact on health. While this study only looked at the hormone cortisol, another one I posted earlier found that it is the high serotonin that promotes habitual thinking and behavior.
    viewtopic.php?f=75&t=7243
    So, one more time - low serotonin is key to cognitive health and creative behavior.

    http://www.psypost.org/2015/09/stress-c ... bits-38072

    "...Under stress, people are inclined to resort to habits, rather than trying out new things. In the journal PNAS, psychologists from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Technische Universität Dortmund report that this is true not only for adults, but also for infants."

    "...Together with their colleagues, Dr Sabine Seehagen from Bochum and Prof Dr Norbert Zmyj from Dortmund studied 26 infants at the age of 15 months who underwent a learning task. Approx. half of the infants had previously been subjected to stressful situations such as they may occur in their everyday life: a stranger sat down next to them, a dancing robot played loud music and moved around, their parents left the room for a maximum of four minutes. These events caused an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. The infants in the control group spent the same period of time playing with their parents."

    "...Then, the infants were presented with a box containing two lamps and learned that one of them emitted a red light when pressed and the other one a blue light. They were allowed to press one of the lamps as often as they liked while access to the other lamp was blocked. In the subsequent test, the infants were free to choose which lamp they wanted to play with, but now neither of them lit up. Even though the lamps did no longer work, infants in the stress group continued to press the lamp that they had got used to pressing. Children in the control group exhibited more flexible behaviour and pressed the other lamp significantly more frequently."

    "...In adults, it has been well-documented that stress promotes habits and reduces cognitive flexibility. The team from Bochum and Dortmund adapted an experimental design used in adult studies, enabling the researchers to analyse the same effects in infants. “If infants are repeatedly exposed to stress and therefore don’t try out alternative behaviours, this may have a negative impact on their knowledge acquisition,” says Sabine Seehagen. “This effect should be investigated in further studies in more detail.”
     
  2. Makrosky

    Makrosky Member

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    Great info haidut!

    Combine that with the learned helplessness that stress also induces and diminished metabolism. Scary.
     
  3. lexis

    lexis Member

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    What could be the cause of procrastination?
     
  4. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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  5. barefooter

    barefooter Member

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    I think procrastination doesn't really imply that there's something wrong with you. Most people procrastinate on things that they either don't want to do or perceive as being difficult or frustrating. This seems pretty natural to me--why should our bodies desire to do things that have little reward? What seems to happen for many people, is that initially the perceived reward of doing something they don't want to do is pretty low, so they avoid it. As the deadline approaches, stress builds, and the perceived reward goes up. In this case the reward is not the enjoyment of the activity, but the avoidance of failure, punishment, looking bad to peers, etc. At this tipping point, people typically take on the work they'd been putting off. Sometimes people decide (maybe not consciously) that the negative impact of not doing the task doesn't outweigh the suffering of actually doing it, and they don't get it done, or get it done late.

    Now this can be problematic if the procrastination is causing you excess stress. Some people develop a rhythm of waiting to do things and it doesn't stress them out much, while others might put off a task and stress about it every day. In the latter case, I think you need to "hack" your view of the perceived reward of doing the task early by forcing yourself even when you don't feel motivated, until you develop a habit of it. You may find that every time you complete a task early, even if you don't enjoy doing the work, that you feel confident, clear, and have lower stress. These positive effects will become the perceived reward of doing the task early as you develop a routine of this, and after following through with this pattern long enough, you may feel naturally drawn to getting things done early.

    One thing I like to do is schedule time in my calendar for when I'm going to actually do the work to complete a task. This allows me to put it out of my mind until my calendar reminds me, which I find to greatly reduce stress.
     
  6. Ideonaut

    Ideonaut Member

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    Not just companies, but also societies: how do capitalist societies, where so many people must be losers, expect people to be healthy, happy, and creative? Capitalism is unfettered economic war, and the first victim in war is the truth. Especially, apparently, the health truth, as attested to by Peat in his writings.
     
  7. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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  8. DaveFoster

    DaveFoster Member

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  9. milk

    milk Member

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    Yeah, the title of the topic rings a bell with me.

    Nietzsche said something about the importance of not settling into habits.

    At my least neurotic I am curious, novelty-seeking, willing to engage with hard and abstract things.

    I'm usually anxious, though, and just feel like spacing out to podcasts.
     
  10. milk

    milk Member

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    And yes, modern people have bureaucratic souls. Try making them snap out of it and they turn on you. Any controversial topic I try bringing up on reddit seems to rouse collective anger against me. (Meanwhile I can post about anything on 4chan and people are open-minded. Because 4chan is an "anything goes" kind of place, I suppose, while reddit is run like a bureaucracy.)

    I mean it really has been enlightening. Some guy on reddit spent several posts trying to prove to me that the adjective "accidental" cannot be applied to natural selection; that "because natural selection doesn't have a purpose, it cannot be accidental". Like a true authoritarian, he made sure to point out that he has a "degree in language", and that therefore he can only be right. I produced dictionary definitions, and he proceeded to criticize my choice of dictonary. Even after I produced a long list of excerpts from scientific studies in which authors used the word in precisely the same manner as I did, he would not budge. (And the dude didn't seem to be trolling at all. Just insane, really.)

    (I'm a Christian and don't really think Darwinian natural selection is entirely correct, but that's beside the point.)

    Another guy, while we were debating a completely different subject, pulled the same "I have a degree in this" card. He had a degree in logic, in this case. And proceeded to provide several incredibly weak - but to his mind unmipeachably logical - arguments. I could go on with this, I could provide several delicious examples of sheer authoritarian irrationality on the part of the guys I have debated with, but I don't want to ramble too much. Essentially I keep bumping against people who are absolutely immune to arguments, analogies, explanations, illustrations and any rhetorical device under the sun with which one may clarify one's perspective. If it runs counter to mainstream opinion it can only be wrong, and how dare you believe it.

    I don't know if the majority of mankind has always been this dull (not unlikely) or if people really are reaching unprecedented levels of mental automatism.
     
  11. Momado965

    Momado965 Member

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    Its funny tho, when I began using stressnon I thought it would make me break out of my habits. It didnt do that but I was able to not be lazy. What really wored for that matter was lisuride. It is an amaizing drug. Novelty through the roof.
     
  12. lampofred

    lampofred Member

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    How much lisuride do you use? I used some just to start becoming more spontaneous and intuitive but I guess I'm just so serotonin dominant that I will need huge doses...
     
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