I recently finished reading "Habits of a happy brain", which discusses the role of oxytocin, serotonin, endorphin, dopamine, and cortisol in seeking behavior.

The book argues that we evolved to direct ourselves towards things that would promote our survival, and each of these hormones has a role to play in either strengthening certain behaviors, or encouraging us to move on from certain behaviors - one of the ways this is done is "Dopamine/Serotonin disappointment" (I don't recall if it was also relevant for oxytocin), which lessens the reward - and seems to have evolved because it encouraged us to move on and try to do even better.

But the book makes no mention of passion*, or how it fits in into all these discoveries.

Specifically, I wonder, how is passion possible in light of these "disappointments"? I'd imagine passion involves a significant feeling of reward. Is there another hormone involved, one that's less... disappointing?

And how does passion develop into what it is? I am a big believer in the claim (which also appears in the book) that we evolved to seek ways to survive, and that what makes us happy (or sad, or stressed) is perceived by us as helpful (or detrimental) to our survival. How does one connect something to the need for survival in such a way that gives him so much energy and continuously rewards him for doing it?

And, being practical as always, How can I get me some of them passion? (Don't worry, it's for a good cause)

*Please note that I am specifically talking about passion towards a thing/hobby, as opposed to towards a partner. I don't know how much overlap there is, but I wouldn't go there before I delve into the (surely extensive) body of research into love.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Aug 12 '17 at 18:42