Wishful thinking, reward system in the brain affects our judgements
on 24 February 2019
stop smoking, today

Despite what you know consciously about something, e.g. that smoking is bad for you and You Will die younger, your reward system can not only ignore that information, it can actually overwrite it and it so often does . . . 

Cigarettes are definitely not a relaxant and that's a fact! 

Most smokers say that smoking helps them to relax, yet, scientists say there is absolutely nothing in a cigarette that aids relaxation and this research kind of explains why! Another paradox is that they say health is one of the main reasons they want to quit, although if that statement were truly congruous, they would stop; surely? Well, they would . . . but it's an addiction, isn't it? Yes, it is but it's nowhere near as addictive as they think. For instance, many smokers quit, immediately following a heart attack, seemingly, soon to be mothers stop smoking as soon as they know they are pregnant so much for the addiction theory! Truth be told, all you need is a reason strong enough to overcome the subconscious one that keeps you smoking!

That is why hypnosis can be such a powerful aid to help you stop smoking and, maybe, help you with lots of other things you want to achieve too! Through hypnosis, it is possible to stimulate the VTA (ventral tegmental area), the major reward output pathway but as well as being an output genius, it is also a major input area from nearly all of its output connections. Effectively meaning it has master communication abilities, which include the threat detection system as well as the reward. It is, I believe, our ability to communicate with these areas, during hypnosis, that enables us to overwrite the illusory code that made us desire to smoke in the first place. 

So, do you want to stop smoking? Then hypnosis will dramatically increase your odds of success and please remember, success is not only self-funding, but it's also good for the planet too!

Hypnotherapy stands out as one of the most effective strategic life management methods there is, especially in its ability to promote clear thinking and good states of mental wellness. The behaviours that make life challenging are often a result of too much stress, too little sleep and too little by way of clarity! So, to get or take back control of your mind and your life, it makes perfect sense to use a methodology that addresses the subconscious mind's role in perpetuating negative, vague and ambiguous states of mind. Hypnosis helps us to create calm relaxing states of mind that make life work better! If you would like to address any concerns you have in this direction, or, if you just want to make your life feel better,  then why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? Hypnosis gives you the ability to have a good life! 

The objective here is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into irrational emotional experiences that may actually be happening for reasons different to that which we would imagine! If you want to know more about how Hypnotherapy can help you; why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation?

For more information on the Free Consultation - Go Here or to book your Free Consultation today, you can do so here

The Research:

We make judgements quite rationally or "by the gut." Not only experience and relevant information play an important role, but also our preferences. A study by the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne shows how the reward system in the brain conveys judgements affected by one's own desires.

"In complex, confusing situations, we run the risk of making a biased judgement as soon as we prefer one conclusion over another," explains Bojana Kuzmanovic, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne. In her work, she investigated how people's judgment is influenced by their wishful thinking.

In the study, volunteers were asked to estimate the average and personal risk of different negative events. They then learned the actual average risk and were able to adjust their own risk estimates accordingly. If the actual average risks were desirable (i.e. lower than initially estimated by the respondents), they were considered more than undesirable statistics.

Using an example, Kuzmanovic explains the phenomenon as follows: "By ignoring unpleasant information, we avoid drawing threatening conclusions. For example, we could neglect federal statistics, which indicate a higher risk of heart attack, because we think we have a particularly healthy lifestyle.

Desires activate the reward system

During the survey, the scientists recorded their brain activity using magnetic resonance tomography. They found that preferred judgements activate brain regions that otherwise react particularly strongly to rewards such as food or money. In addition, the scientists were able to show for the first time that the reward system, in turn, influenced other brain regions that are involved in conclusion processes. The stronger this neuronal influence was, the stronger the judgements of the study participants were determined by their wishes.

So, our desires and preferences influence our judgment without us consciously realizing it. The same brain systems that reinforce our efforts to maximize rewards such as food and money would also reinforce specific strategies for constructing judgements. Marc Tittgemeyer, who led the study, adds: "The influence of preferences is independent of expertise. We can benefit from this pleasant self-strengthening effect as long as our judgements do not have serious consequences. However, when making important decisions, we should be aware of our tendency to distort judgement and apply strategies to increase objectivity."

Next, the researchers will investigate whether these and other reward-dependent behaviours are different in patients with metabolic diseases than in healthy individuals. Reward-dependent brain circuits are closely linked to homeostatic circuits that regulate energy demand and metabolism based on saturation and hunger signals. Thus, if homeostatic networks are altered by disease, this could also affect reward-dependent brain areas and lead to more impulsive behaviour, for example.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Bojana Kuzmanovic, Lionel Rigoux, Marc Tittgemeyer. Influence of vmPFC on dmPFC Predicts Valence-Guided Belief Formation. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2018; 38 (37): 7996 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0266-18.2018

Cite This Page:

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Wishful thinking is rewarded: The reward system in the brain affects our judgements." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2018. <>.