Research report part 1 - Introduction Humans share many...

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Introduction Humans share many qualities with their ancient ancestors. They require food, water, shelter safety, and the experience of acceptance and connectedness with others ([Baumeister and Leary, 1995] and [Williams, 2007]). Importantly, much technological advancement is designed to help them meet such needs and indeed many of their needs seem to be addressed practically without effort by using such technological innovation. Intriguingly, not all technology serves to meet human needs. To the contrary, some technological developments operate to provide the experience of having needs satisfied, without actually satisfying the need. Evolutionary biologist Steven Pinker, in his modern classic, How the Mind Works (Pinker, 1997 ), argues that a number of technological advancements are designed not to directly fulfil evolved needs, but rather to trick the brain into believing that some needs have been fulfilled. For example, in ancient history humans have depended on natural resources (e.g., berries) or meditation to fulfil their appetite. Lately, humans have turned to modern tools of technology, such as dieting drugs, or more abrasively, liposuction, to combat obesity while still maintaining the same eating habits. It can be argued that other everyday technologies, such as narrative fiction, television, music, or video games that connect with users, can also provide the experience of need fulfilment. There have been experiments involving psychologists using animals to test surrogacy behaviour by replacing its mother with that of another form, thus satisfying belongingness needs. Likewise it has been suggested that beloved books, television
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This note was uploaded on 12/14/2010 for the course BA 111 taught by Professor Adams during the Fall '10 term at The University of British Columbia.

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Research report part 1 - Introduction Humans share many...

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