Thorstein Veblen Quotes

Who was Thorstein Veblen?

Nineteenth century Norwegian-American sociologist Thorstein Bunde Veblen is known for the book The Theory of the Leisure Class.

Born July 30, 1857
Died August 3, 1929
Aged 72 years old

Books by Thorstein Veblen

Best Quotes by Thorstein Veblen

“Invention is the mother of necessity.”

“The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before.”

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“But speaking of decisions and choices, I want to turn to a question that baffles so many of us. Why is it that people who are victims of trauma are so often drawn to abusive relationships?

Let me broaden the question, because it is so important in understanding not just abuse but all behavior. The key point is that all of us tend to gravitate to the familiar, even when the familiar is unhealthy or destructive. We are drawn to what we were raised with.

As I’ve said before, when we are young and our brain is beginning to make sense of our experiences, it creates our ‘working model’ of the world. The brain organizes around the tone and tension of our first experiences. So if, early on, you have safe, nurturing care, you think that people are essentially good….But if a child experienced chaos, threat, or trauma, your brain organizes according to a view that the world is not safe and people cannot be trusted. Think about James. He didn’t feel ‘safe’ when he was close to people. Intimacy made him feel threatened.

Here is the confusing part: James felt most comfortable when the world was in line with his worldview. Being rejected or treated poorly validated this view. The most destabilizing thing for anyone is to have their core beliefs challenged….Good or bad, we are attracted to things that are familiar.”

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