Interesting questions indeed. Are you a PhD in STEM or what field, psychology?
It's been talked about at my old uni as well; "why do we do this" etc... And I for one think that both Dr Mike and Dr Editor have valid points. I'm not sure I agree with:
ptrt33 wrote:Academic work seemed to me almost anti Pavlovian with so little positive reinforcement and so much frustrations and failures. I would have thought that with so many negative feedbacks one would not continue to pursue the goal
I guess it depends on which field of science we are talking about? Since I don't really think there are as many negative feedback as "not positive feedback" all the time, which is a bit different imho. Sure, the funding situation sucks, and the tenure thing makes it hard but the thing that I miss the most [from being in a true research lab by the bench] is MY day with my research... the thing I create and am an intergral part of... (yes, amybe a bit much on the emphasis but it is a bit crucial, wouldn't you say?)
It's also that the positive experiences are so big that they make the negative ones go away... which might be the case if you stay in science (and the reason to leave, if you leave)??
Just a few thoughts a Tuesday afternoon like this one.
"One never notices what has been done, one can only see what remains to be done" Marie Curie