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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Brainpower, Willpower and Attention

In Futurepundit, when I see these kinds of psych studies I always wonder how relevant to how they can be applied in domains with more context:
" ... The more you exercise your willpower in one area the less willpower you have left for other purposes.

The brain’s store of willpower is depleted when people control their thoughts, feelings or impulses, or when they modify their behavior in pursuit of goals. Psychologist Roy Baumeister and others have found that people who successfully accomplish one task requiring self-control are less persistent on a second, seemingly unrelated task.

In one pioneering study, some people were asked to eat radishes while others received freshly baked chocolate chip cookies before trying to solve an impossible puzzle. The radish-eaters abandoned the puzzle in eight minutes on average, working less than half as long as people who got cookies or those who were excused from eating radishes. Similarly, people who were asked to circle every “e” on a page of text then showed less persistence in watching a video of an unchanging table and wall ... "

1 comment:

East Asian Strategist said...

if i were forced to eat radishes, i'm guessing i would also be a little sensitive when given an impossible puzzle.