There is a word (likely an item of psychological jargon) which I heard once in a YouTube video and keep finding a need for.

It was a "state of being" adjective that I remember beginning with e- (possibly eu-) and, when used in a sentence something like "Yes, Humans are [...], but..." it referred to our tendency to optimize our day-to-day life for familiarity and then resist change.

(It was being used as part of an argument on the importance of resisting that tendency and seeking out new life experiences.)

Does anyone know what this word was?

  • I can't be sure, but I think it might have been one of Jason Silva's videos, so I'll have to see if I can work my way through those.
    – ssokolow
    Apr 13, 2021 at 1:59
  • I don't know what the adjective would be, but it seems like it might be related to aspects of cognitive dissonance, like selective exposure — "a theory within the practice of psychology, often used in media and communication research, that historically refers to individuals' tendency to favor information which reinforces their pre-existing views while avoiding contradictory information." Apr 13, 2021 at 4:31
  • Since the prefix "eu" means "good" or "happy", it's quite likely to start with that; you could flick through a dictionary (Merriam-Webster online has a "see nearby entries" option).
    – Stuart F
    Apr 20, 2021 at 10:39
  • I finally managed to track down the source of the fuzzy memory and, as I'd worried, the difficulty in finding the answer was because the question wasn't quite accurate. The term I was looking for was "hedonic adaptation" and I encountered it in Jason Silva's Awe at 0:35 to 0:42 (and he pronounced it with a more or less silent initial "h"). Given that my question was fundamentally misguided but valid in a different direction, should I or shouldn't I post it as an answer?
    – ssokolow
    Nov 6, 2021 at 11:03

1 Answer 1


Well, the classic word in this case is 'conservatism'. It's also descriptive of a political ideology that espouses a philosophy that the status quo is better than unknown and uncertain change.

However, it doesn't begin with the letters you suggested - 'eu'.

  • True, but the word I'm searching for had a different slant to it. We think of conservatism as being about rejecting change. I remember this word having an etymology closer to "seeking/cultivating/loving the safe/familiar"... not so much about resisting change, as about building and then not leaving a comfortable environment. which makes me wonder if it might have used the "-phile/-philic" suffix.
    – ssokolow
    Apr 13, 2021 at 1:55
  • @ssokolow: The term 'conservatism' has those senses too. Thinkbof the assocuation of patriotism with conservatism. Apr 13, 2021 at 22:32
  • Let me rephrase that then. The word I'm looking for lacks the connotational baggage "conservatism" has, because it doesn't carry political associations.
    – ssokolow
    Apr 14, 2021 at 4:58

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