As we’re all so busy rushing through life, it’s easy to miss the moments of pleasure. Neuroscientists have revealed how everyday pleasure rank against each other and it’s official: money CAN buy happiness, reveals first ever pleasure scale. Winning £10 was all it took to dramatically increase people’s feelings of pleasure. Following closely behind this was the level of pleasure generated by affection. As for playing with puppies and kittens, puppies generated the highest feeling of pleasure in all participants, proving the belief that dogs really are a man’s best friend. As for chocolate, the test also proved just a tiny taste is all it takes to generate a significant pleasure boost.
Recording people’s brainwaves while they were placed in different situations, neuroscientists from Birkbeck University have calibrated the first-ever scale to measure pleasure. Using MyndPlay EEG (electroencephalography) headsets to measure an individual’s brain activity, neuroscientists were able to create a scale enabling them to place a numerical value on the level of pleasure people gain from different experiences. Rating between -100 (most displeasurable) and +100 (most pleasurable) and based on intensity and duration of brain activity, various emotions such as affection, play, good fortune, visual stimulation and achievement were tested.
Women were found to find life more pleasurable, recording an average of 66.4 on the pleasure scale, while men fell behind at 58.2. In addition, men were revealed as most affected by winning money, scoring as high as 90.1 when they were surprised with £10, while women were less impressed, scoring 79.3.
Below is the table of results ranked in order of pleasure:
|Good Fortune||Unexpected windfall of money||82.9|
|Affection||Playing with puppies||67.5|
|Taste||Beyond Dark chocolate||65|
|Affection||Playing with kittens||64.1|
|Sound||Concert violinist playing well||61|
|Taste||Green & Blacks chocolate||54|
|Visual Stimulation||Positive images (eg. Baby, a smile)||50.9|
|Visual Stimulation||Negative images (eg.rotten teeth, crying baby)||-38.4|
|Sound||Concert violinist playing badly||-55.7|