Imagine an 'experience machine' that could give you whatever desirable or pleasurable experiences you could possibly want, if you choose to enter the machine. Once you've entered the machine, you'll be completely comfortable, your physical needs will be met and your longevity will not be affected by your decision. Once in the machine, you'll not perceive your psychic life as being inauthentic, even though it will be a simulation. Will you choose to enter the experience machine?
Answering the hypothetical, you said No--like most people. In explaining your decision, you said you value authenticity, and would therefore not be interested in pursuing a course of action--even one which eliminated unhappiness--if it [imperceptibly] cost you authenticity.
So far, so good. There are no right or wrong answers, of course--but the answer you've provided is the same as the one almost everyone else provides--me included...just in case you're interested.
Hypothetical # 2: [credited to Felipe De Brigard, though expressed in my words]
You're roused from your slumber by a medical technologist, who explains your life to date has been a simulation. You've been in an imperfect, older-tech version of the experience machine for many decades now. The technologist politely apologizes for interrupting you; she's opened the door on your experience machine by accident. Before flipping the switch back on and returning you to your simulated life, the technologist asks if that's okay: 'Would you like to come out into the real world, with all of its unpredictable ups and downs--or would you prefer to continue living out your simulation?' If you choose to continue your simulation, you will not perceive your life as being any more inauthentic than you did prior to the technologist's intervention. Your decision?
The first time I ran Hypothetical # 2 by you, you said, in effect, 'I'll continue with my simulation, thank you.' But then you changed your mind, saying you didn't understand the second hypothetical at first, and upon reflection, you wouldn't be willing to answer to Hypothetical # 2.
No problem; you're not required to participate. (And one can understand why someone might not want to contemplate--even briefly--that their life has been a simulation.) The two hypotheticals can be directed at anyone, and weren't in any way devised with you in mind, just to be clear.
Joshua Knobe suggests when people answer No to Hypo#1, they're not meaningfully choosing an authentic life over a simulated one; they're simply expressing a preference for the status quo over an unknown--even guaranteed-to-be-pleasurable--alternative. (That's what de Brigard is revealing, with his clever rewording of the hypothetical.) This 'status quo bias'--in social science--is also known as the endowment effect, aka divestiture aversion.
You may now yawn.