Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like

Rate this book
Yale psychologist Paul Bloom presents a striking new vision of the pleasures of everyday life.

The thought of sex with a virgin is intensely arousing for many men. The average American spends over four hours a day watching television. Abstract art can sell for millions of dollars. Young children enjoy playing with imaginary friends and can be comforted by security blankets. People slow their cars to look at gory accidents, and go to movies that make them cry.

In this fascinating and witty account, Paul Bloom examines the science behind these curious desires, attractions, and tastes, covering everything from the animal instincts of sex and food to the uniquely human taste for art, music, and stories. Drawing on insights from child development, philosophy, neuroscience, and behavioral economics, How Pleasure Works shows how certain universal habits of the human mind explain what we like and why we like it.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2010

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Paul Bloom

32 books678 followers
Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has published more than a hundred scientific articles in journals such as Science and Nature, and his popular writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Slate, Natural History, and many other publications. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. His newest book--Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil--is coming out in November. Paul Bloom lives in New Haven with his wife and two sons.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
976 (27%)
4 stars
1,122 (31%)
3 stars
1,068 (29%)
2 stars
324 (9%)
1 star
91 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 246 reviews
Profile Image for lola.
198 reviews79 followers
August 9, 2010
This book sets up a theory for you (essentialism) and then puts a principle in place (that we like and derive pleasure from things because we perceive something "essential" about them) and expounds on it different ways: food, sex, collecting, whatever. The big problem with the book is that food, sex, collecting, whatever are humongous topics, each with their own "home theories" that are virtually ignored.

I felt this most acutely in the sex chapter, which was largely based around that fucking "parental investment" bullshit I've had crammed down my throat forever--an old theory, taken down a million times. Were you guys aware that there are only two genders, and women act one way and men act another way, all of the time, no matter what, because they are motivated to reproduce? I know, right? An easy evolutionary psych bingo: "The dynamics of our savannah ancestors looked curiously like those of 1950s America." "Confusion over whether they're rationalizing polyamory or nuclear-family patriarchy, but whatever they're rationalizing, only men evolved to enjoy it."

I feel bad, because the dude seems kind and smart and I love that this book was written. But as I read I often felt like I was trying to hold in a wince as my favorite uncle spouts of poorly-informed political beliefs during Thanksgiving dinner.
Profile Image for Djali ❀.
112 reviews99 followers
March 8, 2022
Ben scritto, non si arriva però al punto, non c’è una vera e propria conclusione. Se mi chiedessero se ricorderò questa lettura la risposta sarebbe sicuramente no.
Voglio comunque dare un’altra possibilità all’autore, tenterò con altre opere.
Profile Image for Louise Chapman.
10 reviews49 followers
October 31, 2010
Having listened insatiably to Paul Bloom in his captivating Yale course to Introductory Psychology, when I tracked down his literature on Amazon, I had to buy this book. I do not regret the purchase whatsoever. The man writes with incredible lucidity and wit, and he conveys his points effectively until the end. 'How Pleasure Works' really made me think twice about why I get so much pleasure from certain activities, and, more importantly, why others get pleasure from things that I might personally judge as unappealing.

This book was full of insight, which is appropriate since it is psychology, and I can recommend to anybody who has the merest interest in understanding human-nature better. I am just about to begin Bloom's 'Descartes' Baby' about childhood development and its implications on adulthood, and I cannot describe my excitement at the prospect! Bloom really is the most accessible popular science writer of his generation.

'How Pleasure Works' was impossible to put down. It reads as grippingly as good fiction, but better since I felt on every page I was learning something new; having my mind further and further prized open by his incredible insights. Bloom's writing style is deliciously smooth and accessible, making this book suitable for those who would usually shy away from science literature. The humour present in this book definitely allows it to transcend any stereotypes that 'science is for bores'. Arguably, if more science writers delivered their arguments in the humour-laced packages that Bloom does, the modern world would be brighter, more enlightened, and more tolerant.

In short, Bloom is an utter joy to read and to listen to: may he too provide you with the joy and enlightenment he has endowed upon me.
Profile Image for Michele.
99 reviews2 followers
November 29, 2010
Fun fluff. I really hate to give this guy two stars for a decently written, well researched book. But for all the interesting anecdotes, experiments, and theories, the book doesn't begin to deliver what the title promises. In other words, the book promises to tell us why pleasure works, but the writer doesn't give us any concrete conclusions. He does suggest that we find pleasure with things and ideas that have an authentic, true "essence" - in other words, we have no tolerance for fakes. Each of us, even small children, possess a finely tuned fake-detector. But if essentialism is the key to pleasure, then the writer could have covered that theory in a book one third as long. Instead, the book drags on with endless examples and expert opinions, all leading to more questions. At the end, we've learned theories about how pleasure works, but no delineated point of view. A more realistic title would be "Why do we like what we like? Who the hell knows?"
Profile Image for Prashasti .
112 reviews174 followers
April 10, 2020
It starts off strong but with each passing chapter, everything feels redundant. Just facts, psychology, and essentialism!
Profile Image for Maryana Pinchuk.
27 reviews29 followers
March 31, 2016
As far as the popularizers go, this is more substantive than a Gladwell but far less so than a Pinker. In fact, much of the research and insights discussed were pulled directly from other popularizers, including Pinker, to the point where I felt some serious deja vu (deja lu?).

Also, for a book about pleasure, a nontrivial portion of it being devoted to cannibalism as compared to other lurid but not-that-lurid pleasures just feels like whatever the book equivalent is of clickbait. Amazon one-clickbait?
Profile Image for Stephanie H.
243 reviews10 followers
October 27, 2011
I had nothing against Paul Bloom's style for the durration of the book. In fact, I rather enjoyed his style and thought his simple language and format would be an adequate way of describing why we like what we like.

You can sum up Bloon's entire 200 page argument in about 2 sentences. "We like things when we feel there is an associated essential quality to their being, imparted from either and internal or external source. The extent of our likes vary across several categories, including food, sex and religion; however, all of those categories are based on the same desire for essentialism."

Although this book has a "why" in the title, every explanation is based on correlation, not causation. Again, these are fine conclusions to draw, but they are only interesting for about chapter. The anecdotes and transitional stories were great, but I wanted a greater overall theme, not something that could be summed up so quickly with a slew of anecdotal evidence.
Profile Image for Trish.
1,352 reviews2,412 followers
July 2, 2011
What could be more relaxing and interesting than a conversation with a learned friend about what pleasures us? Bloom doeosn't shrink from describing the more depraved pleasures humans claim to like, nor does he ignore the mundane and ordinary things that make our lives interesting and fulfilling. And at the end, he mentiones the BIG questions of transcendence and truth, possibility and destiny. But what struck me now, perhaps at this time in my tiny life, so constrained by circumstance and my own limited nature, is that man appears to crave nature, and contact with the natural world brings a deep and abiding, one might say life-giving, pleasure. At a time when man is struggling to understand and control or contain the forces of nature, nature itself appears to be the key to our survival as a species, and to ignore, desecrate, or belittle it will, if nothing else, make us miserable. I put this on my "religion" shelf, only because, at the end, Bloom mentions Dawkins, and introduces the concept of science inducing in us an awed wonder that "makes life worth living."
Profile Image for Nicky.
4,138 reviews1,009 followers
March 18, 2014
How Pleasure Works is an accessibly written book which mentions some theories and interesting experiments, without really delivering on the promise of "science" that explains "why we like what we like". Mostly, what Bloom has to offer are theories and interpretations: well presented and interesting, but judging from various reviews, not conclusive enough for people who want hard and fast answers. Luckily, I wasn't really expecting any, although I was hoping for a bit more science. I'm still left thinking the answer to "why do we like what we like" is "because we're bloody minded and irrational".

I took Paul Bloom's Coursera course, Moralities of Everyday Life, and recommend both that and this book as a relatively mild introduction to the psychology surrounding these topics.
Profile Image for Kevin.
1,501 reviews34 followers
October 15, 2017
I loved this book it. It starts off

Goering was an obsessive art collector and had already plundered much of Europe. But he was a huge fan of Vermeer, and this was the acquisition that he was most proud of.

a forgery, by disapointing Hermann Goering on his deathbed, and then goes on to explain how a collector was able to purchase Napoléon’s penis

it was (severed by the priest who had administered last rites to him.)
before going onto the market.

But really it makes you doubt that objects have any essence aside from what we assign them.

This theory of pleasure is an extension of one of the most interesting ideas in the cognitive sciences, which is that people naturally assume that things in the world—including other people—have invisible essences that make them what they are.

Profile Image for Anita.
116 reviews
January 23, 2022
This was an intriguing read, nothing groundbreaking but interesting throughout. Our reasons as humans for chasing particular types of pleasures are both unique (in some instances) and found elsewhere in the natural work (in other instances). I enjoyed learning which are which.

I took me forever to finish this, not because it is boring or poorly written, but because my brain finally settled down enough for me to pursue the rest of the book to completion. Embarrassing - but there you have it!
Profile Image for Ayoub Zitouni.
55 reviews
March 15, 2022
Walter Benjamin once said that every passion leads to chaos.

A passionate man like mr Bloom, with apparent love of his field and authentic curiosity delivers a very broad yet interesting analysis about pleasure ( psychological/spiritual pleasure, not the physical one) and its relation to essentialism.

This book does what science does, it removes the tension we have vis-à-vis the world. It gives us peace. The peace of ( possible ) explanations.

Though it might be annoying and sometimes redundant ( because of the huge amount of experiments cited in this book, as one would usually expect from a scholar), this book was a "pleasure" to read.
Profile Image for Manal Omar.
198 reviews157 followers
August 3, 2017
Our very motivations and impulses sliced into bits. Why we like what we like is not at all an easy business; and explaining it would have us running in circles. A very interesting and- surprisingly entertaining-book.
Profile Image for Santhosh.
128 reviews152 followers
November 15, 2014
Why and how humans are different from the other animals. Explains and talks about the oft-quoted "sixth sense" of ours. Talks about essentialism, how the history of anything is as important to humans as the thing itself (auctions of personal items of famous people, security blankets, attachments to personal belongings), importance to material things, imaginary friends, our enjoyment of music and art, sexual subterfuge, imagination, delight in good food, voyeurism, empathy, fiction, black humour, horror movies, S&M, daydreaming, adventure sports, museums, our mind hasn't yet evolved to catch up with the world we've created and are now living in and thus causing conflict, play-acting, etc.

I found most of the content to be superficial in its treatment, and felt the book as a whole could also be better structured and edited.

My suggestion: Watch Paul Bloom talk about this.
11 reviews5 followers
January 20, 2018
I chose this book because I was interested in what effects pleasure (or lack of thereof) has on human psychology. Some of my self-experiments include fighting desires (like eating high-carb food) and I was interested in what effect they may have.

While this book did not answer my questions (The Willpower Instinct is much better in that regard), it was very informative and entertaining.

The author explores why we like or don’t like things, people, and experiences. He especially focuses on counter-intuitive preferences of a typical human. Why do we like original paintings if we cannot tell them apart from forgeries? Why do we like horror movies? And even why people eat other people (usually not because they are hungry).

While this was not one of the most inspiring books I have read recently, I enjoyed it a lot.
Profile Image for Elliot de Vries.
9 reviews1 follower
July 19, 2013
Each chapter of How Pleasure Works attempts to demonstrate that a particular subset of the things we enjoy (e.g. food, art, love) at least partially depends on what Bloom calls our “essentialism” in order to give us pleasure. By “essentialism” Bloom means our tendency to believe that the things and people around us have various hidden essences which make them what they “truly” are. Examples of “essentialism” provided include: the way in which we naturally attribute a “life force”, “chi” or “élan vital” to living things but not the dead or non-living; the pleasure we take in an authentic Vermeer as compared to a copy, even when we wouldn’t be capable of distinguishing them; the way in which people, randomly divided into groups, automatically attribute different qualities to themselves and others based on those groupings; the way in which we might say “I won’t wash my hand for a week” after shaking the hand of someone famous. In all these cases, there is something immaterial or not directly perceived which is nonetheless necessary for us to respond the way we normally do. Obviously this is far from an explicit definition, but for me at least the idea has enough prima facie plausibility to agree that there's likely something fairly important hidden under all the examples.

Something I particularly like is the rejection of the idea that we are necessarily “fooling” ourselves when we take pleasure in these hidden essences: as Bloom has it, we get far more pleasure from our “essentialism” than we would without it when we enjoy an “authentic” Vermeer, “vintage” furniture, a “homemade” cookie, an “heirloom” tomato or a guitar pick that was used by Pete Townsend at Woodstock. When we find out that the pick wasn’t Townsend’s, or that it has gone through a sanitizing wash cycle since he used it, or that while it was his, it was never used, we aren’t wrong to be disappointed — even though we never would have noticed if someone had secretly swapped it out with a relatively non-storied pick. We weren’t enjoying it as a guitar pick in the first place. We were enjoying the “essence” of its connection to people and events, something which cannot readily be restored once that essence has been somehow defiled or stolen. Similarly, if we find out that the “homemade” cookies we have been eating can be had for $1.99 at Safeway, while their chemical composition remains the same we will nonetheless lose any pleasure we were taking in the thought of the time, consideration and effort that went into their making. Once we know that we have been drinking Folger’s Crystals, we really cam't help but enjoy the coffee less.

Of course, it’s not impossible for this “essentialism” to lead us into bad decisions or bad policy, but it certainly seems to be a mistake to think we’d be better off entirely freed from these “illusions”. Consider that even friendship and romantic love share in this “essentialism”. Spending time with others causes us to develop a sense of uniqueness and importance in regard to them, at least partially separate from the actual utility and pleasure we take in their company. As a question of fact, there’s little doubt that an entirely different set of persons would have been able to take up this same importance and uniqueness to us if conditions had been different, but it is effectively impossible to maintain close friendship with someone — even less so romantic love — while simultaneously bearing this replaceability in mind. As a sort of eerie exemplification of this, Bloom mentions a rare psychological condition in which the sufferer believes that their loved ones have all been replaced by doppelgangers — one interpretation of this being that for some reason the sufferer can no longer connect them with their familiar, imperceivable “essences”.

Summing up: It’s clear that even Bloom would agree that “essentialism” does not really explain “how pleasure works”. It would be more apt to say that without “essentialism” we cannot fully understand pleasure — something that’s hardly less interesting. And since “essentialism” is not limited only to things in which we take pleasure, no doubt any exploration of it is useful. I suspect that someone could just as well have written a book called How the Sacred Works using the same idea. On the whole there are a few questionable leaps and strange conclusions, and the treatments of the various topics are not evenly good, but for the reasons mentioned above, as well as that a lot of the psychology Bloom covers is interesting in its own right, How Pleasure Works is worth a read.
Profile Image for James Kittredge.
109 reviews2 followers
June 25, 2010
A fine book that made for great listening on a week of commutes to a workshop. It's one of a spate of recent tomes on cognitive neuroscience. I tend to enjoy these books (some others are Outliers, Predictably Irrational, and Herd), but I'm starting to feel like I'm just setting myself up for disappointment. In each of them, the author states a basic, completely intuitive thesis, and then spends the next several hundred pages beating it in to the dirt. I'm not sure what I expect at this point, but I think I'm stuck in a feedback loop.

Bloom's examples range from the simply interesting (Discussions of how we 'essentialise' objects such as art or sports memorabilia) to the lurid (What have some people become cannibals? Why are people excited by sexual fetishes?) These illustrations are fun to read about/listen to, and the author's writing style is academic, while also being appropriately humorous (and often tongue-in-cheek). Finally, I appreciated the time he spent discussing the evolutionary advantages and history of many human behaviors (from musical expression to dating behaviors). As a non-scientist, I was fascinated.

By the same token, many of his inferences and observations are just plain obvious. For example, who knew that we tend to like things with which we are familiar?! Did you also ever imagine in a million years that you may be at least initially reluctant to eat chocolate shaped like dog feces, because it reminds you of actual dog feces? Sometimes, it just felt like Bloom was spinning his wheels and trying to pad out a book that could have easily been a bit shorter.

All that said, I still liked the book, even if there were plenty of 'DUH' moments, and even if the one note thesis about essentialism started to sound like the proverbial broken record. It was well researched, colorfully written, interdisciplinary, and entertaining. I just think that I might need to switch the genres of nonfiction I read/listen to for a while.
Profile Image for Taka.
684 reviews507 followers
June 28, 2010
Misleading and Diffuse--

Paul Bloom, a developmental psychologist, argues convincingly in this eclectic book that we humans are "essentialists" by nature. In his own words, essentialism is a view that "things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly."

So we balk at the ideas of fake artworks, plastic surgery, drug-induced performance, and other phenomena that represent unautheticity.

The problem with this book is that it covers a wide range of topics from food, sex, and sports to art and stories and hammers in the same message about essentialism - that is, we gain pleasure from the invisible "essence" of things.

The result is that it dilutes each topic it covers. The chapter on story, for example, feels lacking in substance and although some of the explanations are interesting, they're all utterly useless when it comes to real-life application.

Not much of the book, moreover, is "sticky" - I have a hard time remembering the lines of argument and the conclusions.

Useless and easy to forget.
Profile Image for Angela.
516 reviews30 followers
October 12, 2013
A fun and quick read. Still in the philosophical vein, yes, but generally grounded in science, so it's all good. While yes, the only things any of us technically enjoy are dopamine & seratonin, Bloom works one level up from this & divides the book into several broad categories of things that give humans pleasure:

* Foodies (food & drink)
* Bedtricks (sex)
* Irreplaceable (sentimentality)
* Performance (arts & sports)
* Imagination (books, movies, TV, video games, etc.)
* Safety & pain (horror/tragedy, sadism/masochism)

In each section he talks about the evolutionary basis for why we like different these things, including lots of interesting examples & research results. Having been a psychology minor, a good chunk of it was work I was already familiar with, but there was definitely plenty of new ideas & information that was fun to learn about. There are connections to aesthetics & ethics in some sections, but everything is grounded in research or at the very least scientific hypothesis reasonably based on research. Interesting & worth the time.
Profile Image for Chris Boutté.
Author 8 books150 followers
May 21, 2022
2nd read:
Paul Bloom is one of my favorite authors, and this is one of the first books that I read by him, so I wanted to give it another read. This book is phenomenal and as usual, it blends philosophy, science, and psychology to make the reader think and question what we think we know about human nature. What I really love about this book is that Bloom picks different things that give us pleasure, presents theories from various people or conventional wisdom, and then he asks questions and points out how these theories don’t explain different aspects of pleasure. Bloom was the first one to introduce me to essentialism and so much more with this book. This book is more than worth the read, and I’ll most likely read it again in the coming years.

1st read:
Excellent book on essentialism for us all to have a better understanding of why we like what we like it. This book answered a lot of questions I’ve had for ages
Profile Image for Linda Vituma.
472 reviews
September 22, 2017
Eleganta ideja un neērta dezorientācijas sajūta pēc grāmatas izlasīšanas. Es negaidīju receptes un orgasmu no pilnīgas skaidrības (izmantota atsauce uz grāmatā minētu rakstu, ko plānoju izlasīt - Alison Gopnik "Explanation as Orgasm and drive for causal understanding"), tomēr jūtos nedaudz pamesta ar prātā iesētu auglīgu sēklu.
Lai, nu, paliek. Blūma kungs ir šarmants savās idejās un virspusība šajā grāmatā viņam piedodu. Plānoju izlasīt vēl kādu no Paul Bloom grāmatām.
Viena * klāt par terminu Alief (mental state). Spēcīgi!
Profile Image for Cassandra Kay Silva.
704 reviews280 followers
May 9, 2013
Personally I didn't find much to this book. I also didn't think the book had enough variability in types of arguments to support any of his premises regarding pleasure.
Profile Image for Maher Razouk.
652 reviews178 followers
December 11, 2021
تفضيلات الطعام ...

يقول البروفيسور في علم النفس Paul Bloom في كتابه How Pleasure Works :

هناك بعض العوامل التي تحدث فرقا. إذا كنت تريد أن تعرف ما يحب شخص ما أن يأكل ، فإن أفضل سؤال تسأله هو: من أين أتيت؟ تشرح الثقافة لماذا يستمتع بعض الناس بالكيمتشي ، والبعض الآخر لا يحبذه . يشرح هذا الأمر سبب عدم أكل الأمريكيين والأوروبيين للحشرات أو الجرذان أو الخيول أو الكلاب أو القطط ، بينما يستمتع الآخرون بها. حتى أن البعض يأكل اللحم البشري ، على الرغم من ظروف معينة مقيدة. من الأفضل ��فسير هذا بفكرة من أين أتوا وكيف نشأوا.

يمكننا الآن تمرير المسؤولية إلى عالم اجتماع أو عالم أنثروبولوجيا ، يسأل عن القوى التي تجعل المجتمعات تنشئ أذواق معينة. طور عالم الأنثروبولوجيا (مارفن هاريس) نهجًا معروفًا على طول هذه الخطوط ، بناءً على نظرية الأعلاف المثلى. بالنسبة لهاريس ، هناك منطق لهذه الخيارات. بعض الأطعمة لا تستحق عناء الأكل. الأمريكيون لا يأكلون الكلاب ، على سبيل المثال ، لأنهم يعتقدون بأن الكلاب تستحق المزيد من الحياة - فالكلاب تقدم الرفقة والحماية. البق ليس محبوبًا ، ولكنه يستغرق وقتًا طويلاً في القولون ، لا يستحق الجهد. (الاستثناءات هي تلك التي تكون كبيرة ، أو تتجمع معًا في كتل عالية الكثافة ، أو تستحق التدمير لأنها ضارة للمحاصيل ؛ وبناءً على ذلك ، أحيانًا ما يكون البق مثل الجراد جيدًا للأكل - يوصف يوحنا المعمدان بأنه بقي على قيد الحياة في في البرية عن طريق أكل الجراد والعسل.) في الأماكن التي لا تؤكل فيها الأبقار ، اتضح أن الأبقار تستحق أكثر من الموت.

في حين أن تفاصيل هذه المقترحات مثيرة للجدل ، من المحتمل أن يكون هاريس محقًا في أن مثل هذه القيود ليست مجرد حوادث. لكن المشكلة من وجهة نظر الطبيب النفسي هي أنه لا توجد صلة واضحة بين التفسير الثقافي والتفسير النفسي. لا تفسر نظرية هاريس التفضيلات الغذائية للأفراد. لقد نشأت في كندا ، ولا شك أن هاريس يمكن أن يقدم وصفًا أنيقًا لماذا لا يأكل الكنديون الفئران ، لكن هذا لا يفسر لماذا أتجنب أنا الفئران شخصيًا. الاعتبارات العقلانية قد تحدد الخيارات الثقافية ؛ لكنهم لا يشكلون الأذواق الفردية. قد أكون مقتنعا بأن لحم الفئران مغذي وصحي ، ولذيذ ، ولكن ، فإن وضع لوحة من الفئران المقلية أمامي سيجعلني أشعر بالغثيان . على العكس ، لقد تم إقناعي تمامًا بأن هناك أسبابًا أخلاقية وعملية ممتازة لعدم أكل الأبقار. لكن شريحة اللحم طعمها لذيذ.

هذا هو نموذج التعلم الثقافي - التفسير على المستوى الثقافي ليس له علاقة بالتفسير على المستوى الشخصي. هناك أسباب تاريخية تجعل الناس في دمشق يميلون إلى التحدث باللغة العربية ، ويميل الناس في نيو هافن إلى التحدث بالإنجليزية ، أو لماذا من المرجح أن يكون سكان دمشق مسلمين ، ومن المرجح أن يكون سكان نيو هافن مسيحيين. هذه ليست أحداث عشوائية. لديهم تفسيرات تاريخية. لكن الأطفال الذين نشأوا في هذه الثقافات لا يعرفون هذه الحقائق التاريخية عندما يأتون للتحدث بلغتهم وعبادة إلههم.
إذن ما الذي يحدد التفضيلات الفردية؟ الاتجاه الواعد هو النظر إلى الخبرة الشخصية.
لدى البشر والحيوانات الأخرى أنظمة عصبية خاصة تبعدنا عن الأطعمة السيئة بالنسبة لنا. إذا كنت تأكل طعامًا جديدًا ثم أصبحت مريضًا أو شعرت بالغثيان لاحقًا ، فسوف تتجنب هذا الطعام لاحقًا - مجرد التفكير في تناوله سيزعج معدتك. عندما أتحدث عن الطعام في صف علم النفس ، أطلب قصصًا عن النفور من الطعام ، وهناك دائمًا بعض الأشخاص الذين لا يستطيعون تناول شيء لأنهم مرضوا أثناء تجربته لأول مرة.
نوع آخر من التعلم يكون من خلال مراقبة الآخرين. ربما عن طريق ذلك ، نكتشف ما هي الأطعمة الآمنة للأكل - وبالتالي الأطعمة التي يجب أن نستمتع بها - من خلال مراقبة ما يقدمه آباؤنا للأكل وملاحظة ما يأكلونه بأنفسهم. يشارك الآباء بيئات الأطفال ، ويميلون إلى حب أطفالهم والاهتمام برفاههم ، لذلك يبدو أنها آلية تعليمية موثوقة تمامًا.
من الغريب أن الأمر ليس بهذه البساطة على البشر. اتضح أنه لا توجد سوى علاقة صغيرة بين تفضيلات الآباء وتفضيلات أطفالهم الصغار. هناك دليل على وجود علاقة أقوى بين الأشقاء ، وكذلك بين الأزواج. هذا الاكتشاف الأخير محير بشكل خاص ، لأنه ليس هناك علاقة جينية بينك و بين زوجك !!

إن تعلم الطعام هو جزء من شكل من أشكال التعلم الثقافي. إنه أكثر من التأكد مما هو مغذي وغير مميت. إنها جزء من أن تكون اجتماعيًا في مجموعة بشرية. والتعلم الاجتماعي ، كما أكدت عالمة النفس جوديث هاريس وآخرون ، يتم تحقيقه من خلال الحضور مع الأقران . أنت لا تأكل مثل والديك لنفس السبب الذي يجعلك لا ترتدي ملابسك مثل والديك ، أو تستمتع بالموسيقى نفسها. يفسر هذا الافتقار إلى العلاقة بين الوالدين والطفل ، ويوضح أيضًا العلاقة الوثيقة بين الأخوة والأخوات ، وبين الزوج والزوجة.

بالنسبة للأطفال الصغار ، لا يوجد خيار سوى مراقبة البالغين. الأطفال أذكياء بما فيه الكفاية للانخراط في بعض التفكير الاجتماعي. في دراسة ذكية ، شاهد الأمريكيون البالغون من العمر 12 شهرًا شخصين بالغين غير مألوفين تناول كل منهما طعامًا غريبًا. تحدث الغربيان مع الأطفال ، أحدهما باللغة الإنجليزية والآخر باللغة الفرنسية. عندما طُلب منهم فيما بعد الاختيار بين هذين الطعامين ، فضل هؤلاء الأطفال الأمريكيون الطعام الذي يتناوله المتحدث باللغة الإنجليزية ، مما يعكس ميلًا للتعلم من شخص أكثر تشابهًا معهم !!

Profile Image for Darnell.
1,071 reviews
June 11, 2018
I didn't get as much pleasure from this book as I should have. There's some fascinating research on children, trying to measure their capacities for reasoning/judgment/morality, but that research always plays second fiddle to a bunch of just so stories that draw a lot of conclusions from limited correlation-based data. The book is very readable, but too much of it boils down to "People like things because essentialism."
Profile Image for Sara.
5 reviews
November 12, 2019
I got a lot of looks for reading this book but despite its cover its not entirely about sex, in fact, very little of the book revolves around it. As everyone may know, the word pleasure is linked to certain activities however that's not the full extent of the word. Pleasure has to do with getting happiness from anything and everything, and this book explains why we get pleasure from things; both normal and strange.
Profile Image for Marius.
56 reviews1 follower
November 26, 2020
Nice book. Maybe lacks a bit of conclusions, since there so many remarkable examples of how pleasure works.
But also, it gives great insights to see pleasure-able things in life from another perspective.
Profile Image for Anna.
156 reviews8 followers
December 23, 2019
Loved it! Insightful, fascinating and well written!
Profile Image for Funda Guzer.
120 reviews
June 10, 2021
Evrimsel psikolojik haz hakkında ilginç düşüncelerini birleştirmiş. Yeniden okunası bir kitap .
85 reviews2 followers
July 20, 2017
I wish I could give this book a "no star" because this author is speaking out of his own prejudice and ideology. He spends too much time "reading into" the intent of other books and exalting Essentialism, the philosophy that we do things because we see something essential in them or are trying to "capture" something from it.

For example, he claims Jesus' words, "This is my body, eat; this is my blood, drink", is proof that Jesus promoted cannibalism! And so does one of my favorite children's books, "Where The Wild Things Are": "Oh, please come back! We love you and will eat you up!". Wow, and all this time I thought that when my mom told me she was going to eat me up while planting kisses all over me, she was really preparing to literally devour me! Bloom apparently cannot determine figurative speech.

Normally, I'd have never chosen this book to read. But it was a required reading for my TENTH GRADE DAUGHTER, 16, for a literary arts class. Of course, it wasn't Bloom's fault that my daughter was forced to read his book; but I'm resentful that the critic reviews never mention the depth of perversions and sexual acts discussed. But then again, I assumed the teacher would have read any book she made required reading! Shame on me; in the future, it is my priority to read any of my daughters required reading.

The first time my daughter was profoundly disturbed was on page 27, when she read the story about the man who cut another man's penis off, cooked it in olive oil, and ate it, then stabbed the man to death, cut him up in small pieces and stored him in the freezer, eating 44 lbs of him before being arrested. Bloom then goes into the reasons for cannibalism: the Eaten is so loved and, by devouring the loved one, the Eater keeps the memory with him forever, to capture the Eaten's essence (strength, bravery, virility, etc) along with other reasons (starvation). But interestingly enough, he never mentions Kuru, the always incurable, irreversible and terminal (two weeks to 6 months) disease every cannibal gets from cannibalism, that causes holes in your brain, making it look like cerebral Swiss cheese.

A few pages later, Bloom offers up a two-paragraph discussion, including a recipe, on how to eat human placenta! Bloom swears it's an excellent source of protein, but I doubt that we presently have a dearth of protein sources in the world!

Anal sex, cunnilingus, fellatio, mutual masterbation and polyamory is also covered (my daughter had yet to hear of any of these). He also claims, "The obsession of virginity is one of the ugliest aspects of our sexual psyche." So much for the ADVANTAGES for abstaining from sex before marriage. The protection from accidental pregnancies, thus, abortions (which CAN later cause a future planned/wanted pregancy unable to come to full term, and actually a major cause of future infertility and miscarriages, with no predictor available to predict precisely which women are most susceptible); and a reduction of sexually transmitted diseases (also a cause of future infertility) are never mentioned. Never!

Since Bloom is a psychology teacher at Yale, I'm sure wrote it for college level. Had my daughter decided to read this book at 18, that would be her choice. But a college student, if offended, can usually drop the course, whereas a high school student with required reading is a captive audience.

It does make me wonder though - how much of Bloom's royalties for this book are from high school required reading assignments? Its not exactly a subject for an audience other than paleontology and psychology majors and those in medical school going into psychiatric medicine. It would be appropriate for these concentrations, but not a 16 year old girl.

Age appropriate-ness aside, it's not even the subject matters discussed that determined my one-star-rating; my rating was solely based upon Bloom's narrow scope of vision and bias that narrated this work. An attempt to explain the source of these deviances is valid; however, I had the strange feeling that (1) he was actually ADVOCATING some of these practices and thoughts we humans have developed, even attempting to normalize them, and, (2) he was taking quotes from other books literally, when they were only figures of speech - colloquialisms.

As far as Essentialism goes (and Bloom's interpretation of it), all of those Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trial should have been exonerated, because they were only acting within the scope of their own morality where what they believed was right! Hitler, Stalin, and Manson were innocent, as well! So was Son of Sam!

Unlike some, I'm not a parent who wants to censor or removed from schools every book that offends me. I'm against the censoring of ANY book, for any reason. (What other parents allow their kids to read is THEIR business.) I didn't like this book because it was too biased and omitted many medically scientific facts, not to mention some plain common sense.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 246 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.