In The Joyless Economy, Tibor Scitovsky proposes a model of human behavior that differs substantially from that of standard economic theory. Scitovsky begins with a basic distinction between “comfort” and “stimulation.” While stimulation is ultimately more satisfying and creative, we frequently fall for the bewitching attractions of comfort, which leads to impoverished lives. Scitovsky’s analysis has far‐reaching implications not only for the idea of rationality, but for the concept of utility (by making it plural in nature) and, perhaps most importantly, for the importance of freedom (including the freedom to change our preferences).
Sen, A. (1996). Rationality, joy and freedom. Critical Review, 10(4), 481-494.