engagement with

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rzezucha

Senior Member
polish
"The findings suggest that training designed to increase engagement with rewarding stimuli and decease avoidance behaviours leads to marked changes in brain circuits important for sustained experience of positive emotion." (Richard J. Davidson 'The emotional life of your brain')

I just wanted to make sure that I understand it well - when you say to increase 'engagement with' it means that you increase engagement using the rewarding stimuli ( in this case) so something like 'with help of something'?
 
  • JustKate

    Senior Member
    Engagement is being used in a rather odd, jargon-like way here to mean "involvement" or "interaction." This definition isn't listed in the WR dictionary, but you see it a lot in business writing, among other places. So I think what the sentence is saying is that the training increases involvement with these stimuli while simultaneously decreasing the avoidance behaviors.
     

    rzezucha

    Senior Member
    polish
    Thank you. And of course it should be 'decrease', sorry. Anyway, I think you are right and 'engagement' here means 'involvement'. The study it referes to was about a therapy depressed patients received and after the treatment 75 percent of them showed reduction in depressive symptoms. The therapy seemed to be successful because the patients were 'engaged with' a rewarding gambling task (they expected a reward after that so it reinforced their positive feelings). The problem I had with this expression was that I wasn't sure if it meant 'engage in' this task (the stimulus) or 'engage' generally (show more enthusiasm) with the help of this stimulus. Maybe there is no diference...
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    ... The problem I had with this expression was that I wasn't sure if it meant 'engage in' this task (the stimulus) or 'engage' generally (show more enthusiasm) with the help of this stimulus...
    I don't think it means either of these. The way it is written suggest that the training encourages people to seek out rewarding activities (stimuli).
     
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