Summary: Implementing temptation-avoidance strategies takes willpower, researchers report.
Source: Rutgers University
In Greek mythology, the story of Odysseus and the Sirens is a perfect example of self-restraint.
When the hero of Homer’s epic sets out with sirens, mythical creatures courting sailors with their mesmerizing song, Odysseus orders his crew to plug his ears with wax and tie him to the ship’s mast. reliant. This way, Odysseus can hear the sirens while sailing and the crew can keep their sanity. No matter how much he pleaded for his release, no one listened to his plea.
Was Odysseus exercising willpower with his plan, or did he simply rob him of his ability to succumb to temptation?
Jordan Bridges, a graduate student in the Rutgers Department of Philosophy, co-authored an article in the journal feeling Explain why this distinction is important to the study of self-mastery and what it can tell us about how mere mortals view the power of the will.
Researchers have long wondered what tools people successfully use to resist temptation — like eating another bag of potato chips or checking Facebook before bed. And while no one really knows why some of us have more self-control than others, psychologists and behavioral economists know a great deal about the methods people use to resist temptation.
Bridges said one method called historical regulation consists of choosing and changing one’s position over time and developing habits to avoid temptation – essentially removing willpower from the equation. A second approach, synchronous regulation, relies on a conscious, effortful will in the moment to resist temptation.
Psychologists and economists have increasingly argued that historical regulation is more effective than synchronous regulation because willpower is difficult to exercise. This conclusion is based in part on the failure of willpower-driven campaigns (such as Nancy Regan’s Just Say No campaign, which had no measurable impact on youth tobacco, alcohol, or drug use).
But Bridges and his colleagues speculate that such assessments of synchronicity regulation rest on an erroneous interpretation of the data, that examples of effective, purely historical strategies include the use of will to implement, and that popular or “folk” is the standpoint of will. Equally important.
“We theorized that willpower is required to implement strategies to avoid temptation,” Bridges said.
Using a multifactorial research design, researchers attempted to demystify issues of self-regulation to examine how people view synchronous and historical regulation as separate entities.
In four experiments, participants were asked to read a short story about a character named Mo, in which he used various self-control strategies to avoid drinking coffee, eating junk food, using social media, and dating. Uses – and then evaluates its own level of – control.
This conclusion is based in part on the failure of willpower-driven campaigns (such as Nancy Regan’s Just Say No campaign, which had no measurable impact on youth tobacco, alcohol, or drug use). Image is in the public domain
They found that when separating synchronic and historical forms of regulation, participants thought that only willpower counted as self-control; Wasn’t a purely historical strategy. and in mixed cases with both forms of regulation, when participants rated the cases as exercises in self-regulation, they did so only because they included synchronous regulation, a more behavioral framework for avoiding temptation. no
Bridges said these findings are important for the study of self-control and how psychologists, philosophers, economists and clinical practitioners discuss these concepts.
“Scientific discussions and science communication often involve debates about words that don’t track how we use them,” Bridges said. “If we are to successfully communicate scientific results, we must speak in words that people understand.”
He noted that “People often conclude that this is the historical strategy of self-control, when in fact moments of synchronous regulation are augmented with the historical strategy. Understanding the role of willpower in self-control helps people. It has an impact on how it helps break habit.”
About this news from psychology and will research
Author: press office
Source: Rutgers University
Contact: Press Office – Rutgers University
Picture: Image is in the public domain
basic research: closed access.
“Will-Powered: Synchronic Regulation Is the Difference Maker for Self-Control” by Zachary C. Irving et al. feeling
Willpower: Synchronous regulation is the difference maker for self-control
Philosophers, psychologists, and economists agree that there are two different types of rules one can apply to achieve self-control. Synchronous regulation uses willpower to resist current temptation. Historical regulation implements a plan to avoid future temptations. However, this consensus may be based on corrupt intuition.
In particular, agents usually use will (synchronous regulation) to carry out their plans to avoid temptation. Thus, even if cases of historical appropriation involve self-regulation, this may be because they are contaminated by syncretic regulation.
We therefore developed a novel multifactorial method to separate synchronous and historical regulation. Using this method, we find that common usage assumes that only synchronic—not ideological—regulation counts as self-regulation.
We find this pattern in four experiments with different types of temptations and in a perfect case of historical regulation based on the classic story of Odysseus and the Sirens.
Our last experiment shows that in a historical case, self-control depends on whether the agent applies synchronous regulation at two moments: when (1) taking the initiative and (2) being able to resist temptation. follows the plan.
Taken together, our results strongly suggest that synchronous regulation is the only difference maker in the folk concept of self-regulation.