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A popular view of self-control

A popular view of self-control

There is a view that sees self-control as a battle between impulsivity and deliberate foresight. This idea has roots in ideas from ancient Greeks.

The International Society for Research on Impulsivity defines the desire for smaller rewards available now over larger, but later rewards as a type of impulsivity that involves a lack of planning and regard for future consequences. But, this view rests on a false dichotomy between foresight and impulsivity.

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MORE IDEAS ON THIS

Choosing immediate rewards

People living in poverty tend to favour smaller immediate rewards over a larger delayed payoff.

A possible reason for this is if you live in a highly uncertain environment or where people tend not to keep their promises, a farsighted view will lead you to get what you can now. Ev...

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414 reads

It is not a failure to opt for immediate rewards

The label of 'failure' when people don't opt for delayed gratification is often completely misleading, such as when someone chooses immediate rewards because they don't trust the promise of a delayed reward.

Prescriptive moulds that say how people are supposed to act is unhelpful. Instead...

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390 reads

Pre-commitment to be indulgent

People can use their foresight to prioritise the present. Many behaviours that seem like a lack of willpower are not caused by a reluctance to plan ahead. Instead, they come from our capacity for long-term thinking.

For example, our decision-making can be influenced by the motivation t...

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499 reads

Metacognition affects our decision-making

Metacognition - the ability to reflect on our thinking - plays a large part in our decision-making processes.

We don't only have emotions or desires that drive us. We also reflect on our emotions, regret our decisions, and try to work around them to pursue our immediate and delayed goa...

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405 reads

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