Dr. Martin Hash Podcast

Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.

657 Perversity


The most bizarre of the negative emotions is perversity: the willful determination to act counter to someone else’s interests, even at your own detriment. It's like spite, in that you intend to thwart the intentions of another person, but you make that choice knowing that it will materially harm your own situation. This is the seminal example of irrationality overwhelming logic: it doesn't make sense but the feeling of satisfaction it brings is worth the cost. In comparison, a plan to sacrifice a little to win big isn't perverse because the payoff is tangible, not just the invisible release of dopamine in the brain which perversity provides.

Perversity is a useful deceit because it eludes suspicion by being illogical, and requires the self-awareness of others to recognize what is going on. Like all the negative emotions, people choose not to admit they are perverse, which makes them blind when it's happening to them. Unfortunately, perversity explains a lot of history, and is certainly an everyday occurrence now, but not something you want to dwell on because to view life through the lens of perversity uses up your optimism hoping for the worst. Perversity and altruism are at war within your psyche, and the most dopamine wins.


Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash


Filetype: MP3 - Size: 2.14MB - Duration: 2:20 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)