Nov 272011

I’ve blogged a bunch now about Roy Baumeister’s work on self-control, including the idea that willpower is finite in the short-term, and is depleted throughout the day as you use it. So I feel compelled to post this NYT op-ed claiming something quite different. I don’t know who’s right, but here’s the gist: In research

Nov 212011

(The clip above covers some basics of mental energy and depletion.) The alternative title for this post was “I’m hungry; you’re wrong.” I’m not sure which is better… In any case, consider this bit from Kahneman: Resisting this large collection of potential availability biases is possible, but tiresome. You must make the effort to reconsider

Oct 312011
Enough self-control not to need it

I just finished Willpower, the new book by psychologist Roy Baumeister and NYT columnist John Tierney. My overall take on the book is towards the end of this post. I first was introduced to the science of self-control via the Bloggingheads video above, which I highly recommend. The most fascinating bit to me was the

Oct 052011

Via Yglesias, Kay Steiger has good thoughts: Furthermore, some of the studies that have been done on distance learning haven’t been so rosy. Students who rely heavily on online courses are more likely to drop out. And, as one attendee from University of Maryland University College pointed out during the Q&A period session of the event,

Sep 262011
Willpower is the future

I’m excited to read Willpower, the new book by John Tierney (NYT) and psychologist and self-control expert Roy Baumeister (Florida State). I haven’t cracked it yet, but in preparation let me share a couple quick takes on motivation and why I think the future will include a lot of emphasis on hacking self-control. Here’s Jonah

Sep 042011

If you’re at all interested in the science of willpower, self-control, or decision-making (and I am) you really should read John Tierney’s excellent NYT Magazine piece on the subject. Here’s one nugget: Spears and other researchers argue that this sort of decision fatigue is a major — and hitherto ignored — factor in trapping people