The psychology behind our perverse impulses to do bad

The pull we feel to do wrong just for the sake of it has been studied. In this TED Talk, Psychologist Paul Bloom shares what he's learned about researching human's desire to be "perverse," which he defines as "when you choose to do something you know is wrong, morally or otherwise, at least, in part, because it's wrong." He proposes small gestures of "perversity" can be funny, clever, and beautiful. He also talks about how one driving force of our impulse to do bad has to do with our desire to be autonomous, and cites Wharton Professor Jonah Berger.

He talks about the Tide Pod challenge of a few years ago, where many teenagers, instead of using these as detergent products, bit into them and sometimes consumed them. Now, as you might imagine, Procter and Gamble, who own the products, were incredibly unhappy about this and they set up an extremely expensive ad campaign designed to stop people from consuming these products. And one of their campaigns involved a … popular football player known as Gronk.

So the ad would begin, "Hey, Gronk, is eating the pods ever a good idea?" And Gronk responds, "No, no, no." Berger points out, when this ad came up, consumption of the pots shot up.

Not down. "Nobody's going to tell me what to do. Who is this Gronk telling me what to do? I want to be an autonomous, free being."

So, basically, "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me."