Paul Bloom: The origins of pleasure | Talk Video | TED.com
Why do we like an original painting better than a forgery? Psychologist Paul Bloom argues that human beings are essentialists — that our beliefs about the history of an object change how we experience it, not simply as an illusion, but as a deep feature of what pleasure (and pain) is.
I’ve often wondered, informally, if this applies to the design and development of learning solutions and interactive assets. Are we more likely to ‘appreciate’ or savour something ostensibly mediocre if we think it took a lot of work to pull together? Conversely, are we more inclined to dismiss something that looks really great, but was pulled together using tools that save on labour or effort?
What comes to mind is a TV commercial from a number of years back for a food product that a woman is getting unwrapped in her kitchen, then mussing up her hair, tossing flour on her face, and then – feigning exhaustion – takes it in to a waiting table of guests who applaud her efforts and remark on how much effort it must have taken.
There’s some validity in comprehending the basic psychology of what we appreciate and what we like, and what our minds tell us about perceived value of effort and cachet.