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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When Solo Travel Loses Its Magic

Over the years, travelling solo has gradually lost its ‘spark’. In my 20s, backpacking, staying in hostels, and meeting new people all the time felt exciting. This was a novel experience, after all, and in many ways, it sated my curiosity like nothing else. Eventually, staying in hostels became more of an annoyance than something…

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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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On Travel and Escapism

The impulse to travel can be cryptic; sometimes it seems to be a kind of knee-jerk escapist tendency, while other times it is based more on a wish for expansion – for broader and more novel experiences. Actually deciphering the impulse can be tricky, though, as it’s not always clear if it – and the…

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