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The Scientific Reason Why People Cheat - Education - Nairaland

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The Scientific Reason Why People Cheat by Nobody: 7:14pm On Jun 13, 2019
The Coolidge Effect— A Scientific Reason for why People Cheat

There is a flaw in nature’s strategy, a bug in the system, if you like. Settling down with the first person we fall in love with and staying bonded would not help spread our genes. Spreading genes is Nature’s number 1 priority. Our individual happiness does not figure in the plan. So almost all mammals, including us humans have a built in, ancient mechanism that scientists call The Coolidge Effect. It operates to make us seek out ‘novel’ mating partners when our fertilisation job appears to be done. It works by building tolerance to, or boredom with, the same person or stimulus. Over time their presence becomes less ‘rewarding’ to the brain.

It is this flaw in our biology, the Coolidge effect, that has allowed the internet pornography industry to grow into a multi-billion dollar business. A chemical called dopamine is mostly responsible. As the brain gets used to the same stimulus, the dopamine response reduces, which automatically makes us want to seek out more novel experiences. Suffice it to say that men are more prone to the Coolidge effect than women.

The good news is that we don’t have to be trapped by The Coolidge Effect. We humans are smart when we put our minds to it. By learning to reduce the effects of too much dopamine in the brain, we encourage more loving bonds and connection. These are sustainable and help us flourish both individually and together.

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