Drive State Learned in PSYCH101. Wow this is actually super important to understand. It’s about how humans are hardwired.

A drive state is an affective experience (something you feel, like the sensation of being tired or hungry) that motivates organisms to fulfill goals that are generally beneficial to their survival and reproduction. Examples:

  • Hunger
  • Thirst
  • Sexual Arousal

One of the biggest bad things about drive states is that they narrow attention:

  • As drive states intensify, they direct attention toward elements, activities, and forms of consumption that satisfy the biological needs associated with the drive. unger, for example, draws attention toward food. Outcomes and objects that are not related to satisfying hunger lose their value
  • Drive states also produce a second form of attention-narrowing: a collapsing of time-perspective toward the present. That is, they make us impatient.
  • Yet a third form of attention-narrowing involves thoughts and outcomes related to the self versus others. Intense drive states tend to narrow one’s focus inwardly and to undermine altruism—or the desire to do good for others.

Real-world consequences of drive states

Hunger, sexual arousal, and other drive states are all psychological mechanisms that have evolved gradually over millions of years. We share these drive states not only with our human ancestors but with other animals, such as monkeys, dogs, and rats. It is not surprising then that these drive states, at times, lead us to behave in ways that are ill-suited to our modern lives.

  • the obesity epidemic: Like other diseases of affluence, obesity is a product of drive states that are too easily fulfilled: homeostatic mechanisms that once worked well when food was scarce now backfire when meals rich in fat and sugar are readily available.
  • Unrestricted sexual arousal can have similarly perverse effects on our well-being. Countless politicians have sacrificed their entire life’s work (not to mention their marriages) by indulging adulterous sexual impulses toward colleagues, staffers, prostitutes, and others over whom they have social or financial power.

It not an overstatement to say that many problems of the 21st century, from school massacres to obesity to drug addiction, are influenced by the mismatch between our drive states and our uniquely modern ability to fulfill them at a moment’s notice.

Personal Thoughts

Successful people don’t let these drive states control them. Maybe also relationship with Abundance Mindset when it comes to wealthier people, because they never need to worry about what they’re going to eat next.