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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happily Angry !!

Emotions, their causality and the consequent ramifications have always fascinated me.

And simple causalities have tremendous ramifications. Consider the sentiments of anger and happiness.

When you are angry, you react, irrationally. When you are irrational, you in economic terms are not performing the act that is likely to give you the most payoffs.

So in principle you would react in a primeval manner that is the reptilian manner (humans are reptiles!!).So there is no difference in the way you react to being angry today as you did say about millions of years back.

However happiness has changed.
What makes you happy is no longer what is giving you the most rational payoff. It is the relative payoff or rather the perceived payoff vis-à-vis your counterparts.

Say you were at X prior to appraisal , you wanted Y but got Z which is greater than Y. Rationally you should happy, but hell you realize that some other smart ass has got W which is in turn greater than Z.

Automatically the comparison is not between Y and Z but rather Z and W.

So in essence your happiness is a function of the relative level of misery of you rival/counterpart. Lower the relative level of misery, higher is your perceived satisfaction, irrespective of the rational payoff to you.

Think about it!