How to keep your resolutions (clue: it’s not all about willpower) It’s hard to think of a situation in which it wouldn’t be extremely useful to have more willpower. For a start, your New Year’s resolutions would no longer be … Continue reading Willpower comes and goes
Self-Control Is Just Empathy With Your Future Self You’ve likely seen the video before: a stream of kids, confronted with a single, alluring marshmallow. If they can resist eating it for 15 minutes, they’ll get two. Some do. Others cave … Continue reading How to think about thinking people
The myth of self-control As the Bible tells it, the first crime committed was a lapse of self-control. Eve was forbidden from tasting the fruit on the tree of knowledge. But the temptation was too much. The fruit was just … Continue reading Are you horrible at resisting temptation?
Presumed Selfish Imagine that some person or organization is now a stranger, but you are considering forming a relation with them. Imagine further that they have one of two possible reputations: presumed selfish, or presumed pro-social. Assume also that the … Continue reading Are you not selfish enough?
Why you shouldn’t want to always be happy In the 1990s, a psychologist named Martin Seligman led the positive psychology movement, which placed the study of human happiness squarely at the center of psychology research and theory. It continued a … Continue reading Why aren’t we happier?
The big problem with one of the most popular assumptions about the poor In the late 1960s, Walter Mischel, a researcher at Stanford University, invited several hundred children to participate in a game in which they were given a choice: … Continue reading Are poors impulsive?
How a string quartet copes with its errors Jonas Salk, the man who discovered the polio vaccine, said, “life is an error-making and error-correcting process”. When I was a freshman at the University of Minnesota at age 16, my first … Continue reading Flaws you are not aware of