Once you understand the power of stimulus control, you can use it to your advantage by changing the stimuli in your environment and avoiding undesirable ones; or, if that's not possible, by filling your consciousness with thoughts about their less tempting aspects.
Scandal is great entertainment because it allows people to feel contempt, a moral emotion that gives feeling of moral superiority while asking nothing in return.
Nothing is miserable unless you think it so; and on the other hand, nothing brings happiness unless you are content with it.
Many species reciprocate, but only humans gossip, and much of what we gossip about is the vale of other people as partners for reciprocal relationships.
Gossip and reputation make sure that what comes around-a person who is cruel will find that the others are cruel hack to him, and a person who is kind will find others are kind in return. Gossip paired with reciprocity allow karma to work here on earth, not in the next life.
In real life, however, you don't react to what someone did; you react only to what you think she did, and the gap between action and perception is bridged by the art of impression management. If life itself is but what you deem it, then why not focus your efforts on persuading others to believe that you are a virtuous and trustworthy cooperator?
The final moment of success is often no more thrilling than taking off a heavy backpack at the end of a long hike. If you went on the hike only to feel that pleasure, you are a fool. Yet people sometimes do just this. They work hard at a task and expect some special euphoria at the end. But when they achieve success and find only moderate and short-lived pleasure, they ask is that all there is? They devalue their accomplishments as a striving after wind. We can call this the progress principle: Pleasure comes more from making progress toward goals than from achieving them.