Chapter 22: Pleasure and Want

William is right that the brain circuits associated with pleasure and want are different. People are compelled to do things that are bad for them, whether this is a gambling addiction or trying to impress friends with a new car we can’t afford.

Humans also have the challenge of pleasure or happiness being defined in different ways. Will I get more pleasure from eating chocolate or going to the gym? Happiness is often seen as having a hedonic component of immediate pleasure as well as a broader component of life satisfaction. It means that, much as continuously eating cake might appeal to me, it isn’t enough for overall life satisfaction.