A new study at Duke University’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience demonstrated participants experienced significant happiness when they were able to skip an ad before watching an Internet video as measured by increases in endorphin and serotonin levels. fMRI images also revealed the pleasure centers in participants’ brains were activated when the skip ad box appeared on the screen.

I take multiple perspectives when considering these results. First, maybe small indulgences, such as skipping ads, contribute to overall happiness. One could then argue other small indulgences, like shopping or a night out, have similar effects on happiness. Alternatively, maybe we enjoy the control of removing something irrelevant or uninteresting because it is a barrier to our ultimate goal.

How do you interpret this study? Moreover, what gives you acute bursts of happiness throughout your day?


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