Present bias: how instant gratification impacts your long-term goals
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Grabbing short-term opportunities can lead you to settle for a small present reward rather than wait for a larger future reward.
This tendency is known as the present bias. While it may feel good at the time, it can negatively impact long-term planning and decision-making.
The classic experiment to show if the present bias is at play is to ask, "would you prefer $100 today or $110 in one week?" The desire for instant reward will cause many to take the $100 now rather than waiting for the reward.
A study showed stronger activation in reward-related areas of the brain when participants were asked to make decisions that would lead to an immediate reward. However, with delayed gratification, there was far less activation within the brain's reward centres.
It’s tempting to take a reward that is available right now, but the cognitive bias can harm your future self.
Managing the present bias consists in staying mindful of your long-term goals.
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