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The Viral ‘Dorito Theory’ Explains Your Worst Habits And Toxic Relationships!

Enter the “Dorito theory” making waves on TikTok


Trend Explained

According to a prominent video producer, the “Dorito Theory” holds that “eating potato chips is addictive because the peak of the experience is when you’re tasting it, not after.” “There’s nothing that exists actually once the experience is done.”

Broadly speaking, “experiences that aren’t truly satisfying are maximally addictive.” This concept goes beyond snacking habits and includes actions such as excessive browsing on social media platforms or participating in harmful relationship patterns.

Despite being unfamiliar with the Dorito theory, the experts interviewed by USA Today acknowledged its validity and usefulness in other areas of life. If this concept appeals to you, you might find it useful to think about.


According to psychologist Reneé Carr, not feeling satisfied with an activity or relationship might lead to staying in unhealthy and unhappy situations.”

Instant gratification is not enough

The appeal of quick satisfaction affects many aspects of our existence. Whether it’s getting likes on Instagram, matching on dating apps, or receiving superficial praise, these moments can temporarily lift our spirits.

“Because you experience just enough satisfaction, we mistakenly think that full satisfaction is possible – leading us to stay longer or invest more energy unnecessarily,” Carr said. “The ‘just enough’ also prevents us from seeing a person or situation for exactly who or how it really is and to then overemphasize the positives and minimize the negatives.”

Alice Shepard, clinical psychologist and owner of Mirielle Therapy Practice, underlines that “poor habits might be tied to unsatisfactory sexual relationships, friendships we should have let go of years ago, employment that no longer work for us. These necessitate informed choices and actions. Perhaps we should return to the beginning, when these situations felt nice. Unfortunately, narcotics, alcohol, and an excessive consumption of tasty but nutritionally empty foods will not fix our problems.

The Truth About ‘Our Worst Habits’

When it comes to our worst habits, temporary gratification pales in comparison to the fulfillment that comes from meaningful encounters. Genuine chats with loved ones, strong bonds on dates, and heartfelt laughter with close friends vastly outweigh the fleeting pleasures of superficial indulgences.

Rita McNamara, a lecturer in cross-cultural psychology at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, proposes using the “Dorito theory” to identify problematic areas in our life. She explains that “our worst habits have an addictive component to them.” The distinction between this type of pleasure that drives addiction and genuine happiness is that addiction stems from chasing the peak experience, whereas satisfaction is a calm beast. You can’t chase satisfaction; it just happens. So there’s nothing to become hooked to.

How To Break Out Of a ‘Dorito’ Addiction

Breaking free from a “Dorito” addiction involves more than just awareness; it also necessitates intentional measures to break the cycle.

Individuals dealing with trauma and stuck in negative feedback loops can benefit from a holistic approach that combines yoga, meditation, and therapy to retrain the nervous system.

“You have to re-configure those associations in your nervous system between the less sensational, healthy thing you really want – a healthy meal, a stable and supportive relationship – and the highly sensational, unhealthy thing that is giving you that hit – the intense flavor of snack foods, the drama of an unhealthy relationship,” McNamara said.

So, whether the addiction emerges as a hunger for Doritos or involvement in a destructive relationship, it’s critical to pause and consider before giving in to the next indulgence.

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