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  1. #1
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Parents Rationalize the Economic Cost of Children by Exaggerating Their Parental Joy?

    Parents Rationalize the Economic Cost of Children by Exaggerating Their Parental Joy

    Any parent can tell you that raising a child is emotionally and intellectually draining. Despite their tales of professional sacrifice, financial hardship, and declines in marital satisfaction, many parents continue to insist that their children are an essential source of happiness and fulfillment in their lives. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that parents create rosy pictures of parental joy as a way to justify the huge investment that kids require.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0302152813.htm
    http://pss.sagepub.com/content/22/2/203.abstract

    I think the conclusions are quite bizarre. If you prime individuals by only concentrating on one or two aspects, then of course you are going to get different responses than if you allow them to put those findings in perspective.

    Do you think these conclusions are reasonable? Does the economic aspect affect the likelihood of you having (more) planned children in the future?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Architectonic View Post
    Do you think these conclusions are reasonable?
    There are many studies that have concluded parenthood does not make one happier, but instead the opposite. It follows that voluntary parents would need a rationalisation for their choice, both before and during parenthood. One of which is to follow the illusion that it will/does greatly increase happiness, but there are many others, some genuine some not.

    This particular method would likely have the same effect upon anything. Induce pessimism on a person, by ignoring all the benefits and only showing the costs, of something they have already done/already do, and I'd guess you'd find the same results. It's a natural process of the mind to justify negative events in the past, which I've heard called synthetic happiness when real happiness is produced as a result, and is likely important for maintaining sanity. It wouldn't surprise me if the same were true of ongoing events.

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    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Maybe it creates happiness after they grow up and move out. Delayed gratification.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    The large return on children due to the black-market organ prices easily justifies their raising. What's the problem?

    Whatever. I typically see these sorts of arguments as completely a waste of time. I mean, I have my own subjective experience and perceive my relationship with my kids and their impact on me and vice versa in a particular, real, tangible way... so why on earth would I really even care what some study might say about other people... or erroneously say about my own relationships?

    I also think that it's entirely credible to value an experience because of the cost one has paid for it. Whatever you sacrifice deeply for, you will treasure. That's just a human truth. Why do some marriages last a long time? Not necessarily because your partner is perfect or even the "most suitable" partner... that partner becomes special and vice versa (and happiness results) because of the investment you have both made in each other. That's an entirely valid way to proceed.

    My own kids, I did make sacrifices for... and sometimes those relationships become stressful and demand much energy and commitment... but the more I invest, the more meaningful they become, not just because of the investment, but because I start to experience some of the payoff (a more intimate relationship with my children, more "happy times" together, a feeling of being connected to others, seeing my kids turn out successful and confident and actualizing their gifts, etc.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Whatever. I typically see these sorts of arguments as completely a waste of time.
    Wait, what argument?

    I don't think anyone can deny that parenting is rather essential to the progression of humanity, and can be justified in many, many ways. It's just one of many studies trying to find what goes on mentally around it. Granted, this one is a bit pointless, but still...




    ...FOR SCIENCE!

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    heh. Some "rationalization". :rolli:

    This is why public assistance/welfare needs to disappear. People would probably "feel incomplete" with no roof over their heads. I'd publicly fund condom/pill distribution instead.
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    "The myth of parental joy" Ha! That study is weird... Umm... Well, I don't have kids and not planning to get them. But, the thing with this study that bugs me is the value they give to economy as the most important part of decision making. It's not that big a deal. What if they asked the question other way around: Do people rationalize their fear of having children with economic calculations?

    At least to me it seems like most of the major decisions I made were stupid economically. Why do I not regret them? Partly because I don't care that much about money. But more importantly, the road I took has made me who I am and I couldn't even imagine what I would be like if I hadn't made that choice. It's not about the possible happiness related to the choice, it is about the choice making me me.

  8. #8
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    Parenting is an investment. Of course there will be costs. It isn't that we are unaware of them or feel great about it. Only that we hope our children will grow up to contribute something back to life. Whether it be becoming a good person, a successful whatever, evolutionary survival, companionship, support while older, there are many ways we assume we will benefit by investing in our kids.

    I don't think it is delusional at all.

    Also we do generally love our children, so it isn't a hostility based service. We WANT them to have opportunities, happiness, and to grow.

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    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Architectonic View Post
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0302152813.htm
    http://pss.sagepub.com/content/22/2/203.abstract

    I think the conclusions are quite bizarre. If you prime individuals by only concentrating on one or two aspects, then of course you are going to get different responses than if you allow them to put those findings in perspective.

    Do you think these conclusions are reasonable? Does the economic aspect affect the likelihood of you having (more) planned children in the future?
    Ha! I've always been suspicious of overly joyful parents. Very suspicious, especially since I don't understand their extreme joyfulness about such a big committment. Kids are fun and all, but I noticed a lot of my friends who are parents start using this vocabulary that they never used before once they have a child. "Oh the joy of having my darling, beautiful children!" (As the kid spits up all over itself.) It's almost fake. It sounds sarcastic. And then I try to remove those thoughts from my head and tell myself that I'm sure parenting must be joyful... I just don't understand it yet because I'm not a parent.

    I picture myself being more realistic like, "yea, parenting can be fun, but it has it's downsides as well."
    My poor kids are going to have a complex.
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

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  10. #10
    ThatGirl
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    Also, one point I forgot to add, I have seen people spend thousands of dollars on vet bill. Trying to cure their 18 year old dog of cancer and crap (which I would never do). I wonder if they are just pretending wanting to be a pet owner as well...

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