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pierredv : willpower   2

There's a dark side to self-control. Here's why you should loosen up | New Scientist Nov 2018
"Willpower is the secret of success – or so we've been told. But too much can be bad for the body and mind. The trick is to know when to give in to temptation"

"Much of our current understanding of self-control stems from the work of psychologist Walter Mischel "

"What’s more, the greater obedience associated with high self-control may be damaging for oneself as well as others. People with high self-control report feeling less satisfied with their partners and colleagues, believing that others take advantage of their dependability."

"She found that small cues indicating high self-control (whether someone flosses their teeth, for instance) prompted volunteers to allocate them more work, while also underestimating the effort they would need to put in to complete the work. The assumption, it seemed, was that someone with high self-control could simply “get on with it”. Koval says she has witnessed many friends and colleagues who have been taken advantage of in this way. "

"And it gets worse. In the long run, high self-control can be a source of regret. ... Rather than feeling pride in their achievements, most wished that they had exercised less self-control, not more."

"Perhaps the most troubling finding, however, comes from a survey of nearly 700 African American families from poor neighbourhoods. In line with much of the previous research, teachers’ assessments of children’s self-control predicted many later outcomes: those scoring highly were more likely to enter college, for instance. Yet they also had high blood pressure and showed elevated levels of hormones commonly associated with stress."

" At the very least, programmes designed to boost self-control should offer greater support to help children cope with those additional stresses. But Uziel is also keen on using so-called nudge techniques to improve behaviour without the need for self-control. "

"As Uziel points out, people with high self-control may doggedly pursue a goal even once it has stopped being personally meaningful. You might also make more effort to deliberately leave empty windows in your diary that allow greater spontaneity and indulgence (see “A lazy path to self-control”)."
NewScientist  willpower  self-control  * 
april 2019 by pierredv
Don't quit now: Why you have more willpower than you think | New Scientist
Built around Carol Dweck's Mindset approach. Metaphor: willpower a store of something vs. a motivation.

"The quitters, Dweck found, blamed their difficulties on lack of ability and felt that they would never make the grade. The more determined children, by contrast, were more motivated by learning itself than by getting good grades, and they tended to see ability as fuelled by effort, rather than set in stone."

Alternative to ego-depletion theory "the difference in people’s ability to stay strong in the face of temptation can be explained by the amount of fuel in our mental reserves." (Roy Baumeister, 1998)

"Meanwhile, other research has directly challenged the idea that glucose is the source from which willpower springs. ... when volunteers gargled a sugary drink before or during a mental challenge, it prevented ego depletion, even if they spat the drink out. This suggests that merely the suggestion of a fuel top-up is enough to keep mental exhaustion at bay. This is tricky for the ego-depletion theory to explain because gargling doesn’t allow time for glucose to be metabolised. It is also more than a placebo, because gargling an artificially sweetened drink doesn’t have the same effect."

"According to the revised theory, whether we are able to maintain self-control comes down to our judgement about how much willpower juice we have left and how we choose to allocate these reserves. As with physical effort, in which our muscles feel tired long before they are close to collapse, how long we can keep going is all about how much energy we think is left."
NewScientist  willpower  psychology  metaphor 
december 2017 by pierredv

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