Neophilia and Neologisms: The Psychology Behind Inventing New Words

The human species has often been referred to as neophilic, or novelty-loving. For evolutionary reasons (i.e. being incentivised to be nomadic, or to search for – and explore –  new surroundings), we tend to respond to new stimuli in a positive way – with intrigue, interest, curiosity, and satisfaction. Our species has been deemed so…

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Driven by the Unfamiliar: Novelty as a Basic Psychological Need

In previous blog posts, I have introduced and explored the concept of the will to novelty: the idea that we are motivated to experience newness, difference, and variety (see my posts here, here, and here). Reading more about the psychology of novelty seeking, I came across some literature on the self-determination theory of human motivation.…

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The Unmet Needs That Make Us Human

I was walking with a friend recently and we got talking about insomnia, about how strange it is that you can’t fall asleep when you’re meant to, which is one of the most basic functions of an animal. And yet so many of us (myself included) struggle to fall asleep, and if we could just…

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The Will to Novelty: Ennui, Neophilia, and Whitehead’s Metaphysics

Ennui is the feeling of boredom, listlessness, dissatisfaction, and fatigue that results from a lack of occupation or excitement in one’s life. Ennui has been felt by many of us over the past two years. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions, many of us were forced to lead quite repetitive days:…

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