You use it every day to overcome your lower self (which wants you to eat cake until your vision blurs) in pursuit of the goals of your higher self (which wants you to not develop Type-II diabetes). Yet it was only in the 1990s that researchers began to understand what makes our willpower and how it behaves.
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Day, everybody welcome, you should know, selects this is Chuck here this week. It's my pick and I'm gonna go go with how willpower works from February, seventh thousand thirteen and frankly, I'm picking this one, because I knew
The lesson is soon again, because I have no willpower and so many to work on so angry
get out again. I encourage you to do the same. Its pre need upsets,
you would go with how willpower works.
Welcome to study should know from house to what extent
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I'm feeling great, but you know what you re to be done.
No, I'm ready to talk about willpower, though, because it is a topic that I struggle with. As most people in the EU struggle with the topic we struggle with willpower. I think
buddy struggles with willpower, oh yeah. Well, as a matter of fact, I think you're absolutely right. There is a very famous guy named Plato, famous greek philosopher, Plato, Plato
oh, yes, not played a right and Plato decided was suggested that the entire human experience the sum of human existence could be.
Basically, nailed down with just this, you have a higher self and the lower software, and your purpose for living is to overcome the usually more powerful urges of lower self in order to fulfil the goals of the high
self, I am dammit than a hundred percent. It makes uttering complete sense about the reason for living, but that the struggle man struggle earliest. Ok, yeah yeah, like that, if you were born, you are going to face that, but you gonna face in varying degrees because, as we found willpower
It is what you use to get over your lower urges and impressive your higher goals. It comes in differing amounts for different people, different people,
yeah in it in rural Amre, the original article from house to forks yeah from stuff the boy you mine,
he points out that we are at odds with our own nature, as we have evolved here on the planet, because in a week, craved sugary sweet things, because sugar gave us lots of energy back in the day and back in the day that
and have little Debbie cakes within hands reach at times, so we're sort of at odds with ourselves and he points out sexually as well. We evolved to spread the seed and procreate as much as possible to ensure the survival of the species
right, and nowadays you can't do that stuff or if you do
You're a philanderer or a jerk or your spreading, does
he's right in your public health nuisance, so we're at odds with ourselves with our very existence. Yeah it not only internally, but you make the point as a society is well, I mean society and evolution tussle, so you can make the case that society represents our high yourself, and you know.
What we are basic instincts that we have all too are lower selves here. So that's! What's going on in its willpower willpower that will get us over the bombs that come along in life, inevitably here and I think most
evil relate willpower to things like eating or going to the gym or indulging in sexual proclivities and things like that, but
its broader than that in general. I think it's the wilted, like Plato, said to strive to- I guess, do the right thing by yourself by others
society at large right, and I guess also how often you come up against their. How often you have to exercise will power because you, it is hidden on the head willpower, is the act of making a decision near your deciding to do something or not to do something. How often you do that it does depend on how you define the world around you here.
Like are these things? Are you surrounded by temptations that you have to ward off all the time and you're paying attention to it, and there are always closing in if you like that in your going to exercise your willpower lot? If you don't see the world is temptation given to him all the time you're not going to. If you look at the world is something that you can handle. You're, probably not gonna have to exercise your power too much, then either yeah, but it's all there. All. Those are three different ways of of living, and they all are, I guess, described by willpower and how you use it. It's good point, Robert makes a point that has backed up somewhat by sea,
It's actually completely by science, the any puts in terms of a video game, which makes sense that if you were a video game, you have a well power meter that that will
or meter is replenished in depleted on a daily, probably hours
basis and the more you use your
parents are you know what I'm not gonna have that little Debbie cake, yellow
oh power meter goes down and it depletes itself. So you're not gonna have
much willpower, maybe for the next decision rights really interesting, yeah, that's
pretty new. Our understanding of willpower like that is very new. The first I had a really kind of put it out like that was Freud in he basically said you, we
this thing called willpower. We have an ego, yet that's that's what the the the Freudians associate with real powers, the ego go and your ego
is this finite thing. It has a finite energy reserve at uses energy and therefore it can be sat and then Freud fell,
the fashion and everybody just kind of stop. Looking at,
power that way, and it wasn't until nineteen, only six when a floor to state University, psychologist name, Roy Bow, Meister the Bower here he he figured out through this test
using a chocolate and radishes. I believe there are you.
If you are staving off temptation using willpower you actually do terribly, unlike at another test of willpower yeah, they used a persistence tests, basically puzzles that you have to just keep. Adding keypad has not submitted complete immediately and offered some people
chocolate chip, cookies and other chocolate treats of their liking and offered other people. Radishes instead, which is not a fair fight.
Red army. He really stuck the death, like maybe radish, shaved, ration, salad or something, but if all you're looking at is a plate of radish than I would take the cookie,
So what he found out, though, is the people who ate the radishes had more trouble completing the test. I ask as a guest
ideas are using up all their willpower deny the cookie, so they don't have time for the test. Yet persistence,
and there was also another kind of follow up study a few years after that by the eye. The University of Iowa, Professor, with the greatest name of all the faculty. Their Bobby shift
and the doktor shit. I've had a basically tested willpower by saying this group's going to remember a two digit number
and this group Skinner remember a seven digit number and every test their willpower by tempting them with chocolate, cake, packets and
directorship found that there was the people who were
using their working memory, the cognitive capacity to
Remember the seven digit number had a hard time resisting so basically proves
that we use our working memory to resist temptation, and I guess it's something like reminding yourself yeah. You know at the forefront of your mind, not to do something,
until the temptation pets. Who knows? Maybe I had a cookie yesterday, some man I can either today or we use our working memory to remind ourselves of our long term goals in the face of a short term reward. Well, that's one of the big keys I think yeah and that some robber hits on which is I want that could
now and I know bikini seasons coming up, and you see me in a bikini touch. Not ready
I will never get out of my memory working memory or other oil, a poker that the game plan that has been
sort of what we're at odds with is the short term. I think humans, as a group tend to,
enjoy the short short term pleasures and if you truly learn to conquer that in in lieu of long term gain that's when you like your winning, is Charlie gene which ratings
Other Charlie scenes know exactly one who is known to exercise the willpower. Now,
There was a really odd person to do tat for that. But well, I think that's opposite. He was, he thought winning was the short term gain yeah. I guess that is so
yeah really like when he gets recorded. But it's been, I think today might be the very day where you could get away with it. So there was perfect. I lay so with from all these tests like when about my sir put his ninety. Ninety six study, eager depletion Cohen, is the act of self a limited resource. It just basically kicked off the slew of follow up studies from doktor shiver and others, and one of the things that they found
was that you can kind of watch. People exercise were power on the old wonder machine, oh yeah, yeah, using memorize. They put people in and had them think about, I guess a sweet or health food right and decide between them.
Caltech yeah here and they found that the venture, medial, prefrontal cortex lights up when you're making that decision when considering it, which made sense they? I think they kind of expected that yeah, but they were also support.
To find that the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, which is located a little further back to her, that lit up as well.
And they think that that was that would up for the people who made a good decision. Only thank you right and they think that that's may be part of Europe,
that part of the working memory where you like. Now, I can't eat that because, yes, that's tapping into that higher self goal pursuit, that's the dorsal, lateral, prefrontal cortex right. He did a nice job there by the way,
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So the bomber also went on to say that he could. He compares the the
willpower, your own willpower to a muscle or something like a muscle, and you can depleted like you,
If you overwork your muscles, you're just gonna, deplete your muscles and be worn out at the end of the day, or you can exercise that muscle
and a healthy way and make it stronger in the long term right duty, this, oh, oh after reading this absurd realise that I actually kind of exercise willpower. All the time will you. I think you especially do so like, for example, I have a milky that are used to go, get the male right.
Wikipedia our car gotcha and I had to go to the car and get the milky then go get the mail and it was called out yesterday and then on
we back. I could have just taken the milky inside with me and taken aback to the cardinal son went to the car. Yet it is very cold, but instead I walked up afloat
there's put the milky into the car and then went back up so you're you
that decision and struggled with it, even if in a minor way. Yes, I did it specifically because
there is no reason whatsoever for me to do that, yeah rationally and as far as common sense, when there is no there's a purpose to it yeah. But by doing it, I basically
exercise my willpower. It was something I didn't really want to do, yet it wasn't a big deal by it was. I could like doing that. Accumulates yeah
I think you and I really different in that way. I see you as someone who actively works that muscle a lot on a daily basis, and I don't
enough, and not that I just have no willpower, but I dont give it give decisions like that enough consideration that make sense and completely algae gauss go upstairs and though the gimmick after which
a sane person what kind of has it that thought. I think that put you in the same can't hear, but that didn't ensure that I'm making good decisions from now, but I mean, I think, you'll make bad ones, but it's good to self, reflecting a new idea can of its kind of fun like a game yeah
I want you know it's like how Ramrod Street can stand you no brain on building too
So another thing, robber points out from the science side of things is as far as giving into
short term in favour of the long term. Is glucose, plays a part in that and I think they found that a quick shot of sugar unethical,
A lot can sometimes stave off or build up that will powers.
Yeah yeah. It's like a lot of you,
talking about how we have like willpower bar again. Every time we resist temptation is depleted, low murmur. They found that a shot of glucose replenish is that willpower bar
so is that in lieu of like a boy really one that cupcake? But let me have the juice box instead, that's that
irony of it is giving into that. Cupcake may help. You exercise your power,
with other stuff later IRAN can that we're? Ok, but you I mean if you had something healthier, that will be the better choice, but the point is like any kind of shot of glucose has been shown to two to re up. Your ear willpower catch- and this is very much poohpooh at first. This idea, I think,
my sir. This is really great article by John Tyranny and near at Times magazine it's from the August before last, called you suffer from decision fatigue are Buddy Chad loves this area.
Proselytize. This article remember Alyosha, okay, this is the one, so I strongly recommend a beggar read it to go on, but in in it talks about Bow Meister like thinking that in a glucose has something to do with this, and it was proposed at first, because
everybody knows the brain uses. The same amount of energy pretty much all day long yet so that didn't make any sense like if you're, if your ego depleted in your your suffering from some sort of willpower fatigue what it by your brain studies in Samara,
energy. Those two don't job right again with the MRI. What they found was somebody suffering from ego depletion from will perfecting who took the shot of glucose her whatever here their brains, lit up in areas,
it had to do with exercising well power. So while your brain is using the same amount of energy using an indifferent places where willpower was fatigue and that glucose basically was like spinach to pop, I for that part of your brain, that's charged with exercising willpower interesting in the air.
So if we carry on a package sugar with you at all times a month ago, in so doing also the in that same article eight, they talk about this. This kind of landmark study
is an israeli parole board, and am they found that you
if you are a parolee and you came to Them-
through it had been a while since a break or lunch or breakfast your chances of being paroled drop by like fifty or sixty percent
if the Parole Board had not had breakfast yes or no, if they, if you came to them like right after things, get started after breakfast or after luncheon, your chances of being pearls were like fifty to suit fifty sixty percent greater than people who came to them for I dunno crime here like a couple hours later, I'm sure then he's the criminals thorkel feel pretty good.
Yeah exactly so arbitrary and they what they found is it's not laziness. It's not like physical fatigue area where it like. You can tell you're tired what our brains do
as they employ the strategy. Where you you are you become risk averse, like you, don't want to make a decision.
So you say you know, I'm just gonna pull this off. You're gonna go back to jail neck and grant you pearl, because that's risky behaviour to let you back out in the world and I'm just of me to any decisions today, but you're, not thinking there
you say, parole denying. You have no idea why? Yes, it makes sense to you at the time, but if you had some glucose that same instance, you, maybe you may be like well yeah, I think you're ready to come back out in society. That reminds me of the ban rush
Yes, that we talked about the work. Of course I remember this from when I was a teenager in other Lyric Amazon's it. If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice: freeware area this from that's all,
I think, on the original album jacket. It says. If you choose not to decide, you cannot have made a choice there. I hear my brother next, alas, that think me open.
Actually we ratify the lyrics back then India that Getty Lee dislike you know etched it out with it heads, but it's the complete opposite meaning. So it's interesting that at some point rush
I guess said: maybe a band argument or something I M glad giddily one you that you have made a choice. Now you cannot have made a joint right, just shut up more play drugs. I always is weird. I remember hearing that the first house, like all may I blew me away yet Freewill can believe it remember them again. You, like a kid
the name of the song, but it's about free- will hear how was it read? Marcela right
We are now. I didn't really fully get the arm. The Stanford psychologists, Walden Dweck, and that is the work sounds like him saying, direct wrong. I didn't fully get that that date. They said that people who have Wilfer willpower fatigue tender slack off when they felt their resolve wavering, but then people who felt their resolve was limitless, pressed on like that
I don't get the point there. It seems like a no brainer, so yeah. I think I think it is an imminent. You may be looking too deeply eyes like what I was talking about earlier at the beginning, where, like, depending on how you see the world like you see, the world is like, like you
willpower. So you can overcome in I'll you're going to last longer on tests and willpower, then somebody who is that
I'm feeling kind of weak today. I then you just gonna give in ok, so it is pretty simple yeah I thought was a dummy. Not only is it simple, I manage to make it more complex and talk about it at length,
they do know that people generally there is some Jeanette
component involve like. If your parents are super self disciplined, then you are more likely to turn out that way. I found that to be true from friends of mine, whose parents work like Super self discipline
their kids, can it turned out that way to yeah? But I wondered in Robert makes a point in the article like: is it genetic or epigenetic? Probably both everything said he, my guess. We just chose not to decide
We cannot have made a choice and then the old marshmallow experiment, this Stanford, not the prison experiment, but the martian hell up experiment from the nineteen sixty is very famous one where they placed these tortured these kids, basically by placing a marshmallows.
One of them in saying if you hold often meaning that marshmallow in fifteen minutes, you will have two and of course not me, the kids could hold out, but they found that the ones who did hold out for,
Second marshmallow I went on in life to greater successes, at least if you count as a scores as a measure of success, two hundred ten points higher than the ones who child down on.
Marshmallow and the ones you ate the marshmallow later on
struggles with their relationships and stress and attention. So one of that has indeed with like
city, I wonder, is well. I wonder how much of our modern problems are really just crises, a willpower near. I wonder if there is a follow up to that sixties. Experiment has been a bunch, but there's one and at the university Rochester that was some carried out last year.
That found we are more willing to exercise willpower if we think that, while we're holding out for is actually going to happen in a yes and they did that by
this is all it's funny. Studies with kids are always there so cruel and funny.
I mean not the really truly cruel whenever lazzarini psychological study. That has almost him.
ITALY has some cruel aspect to hear, and this one was nowhere was no exception. Basically, they said the here's. A control grew Pierce, here's, the experimental group and the control group. We want to give you some extra our supplies, let us go get em and they came back with some extra art supplies the experimental group this
hey we're gonna, get you some more. I supplies will be right back and they came back. They like we don't have any more art supplies. We know you're really excited, but sorry you have to make do with their old red tape
and then they tested them with the marshmallow experiment and found that the ones who had gotten the art supplies the promise hadn't been broken,
they held out longer than the ones who had been lied to gather like screw. That you're not bring me to marshmallows out on this matter,
all right now, exactly gonna. Kick you in the shed afterwards. How show you hear that?
the on the level. What was that one? The one kid remember them that we talked about that
tested on, like oh captain, closet,
no they tested, fear, conditioning and gathered in the kid is little
little out where they like they
Could you re Bunny in Lebanon, Bang,
I got it all with a hammer and scare the but Jesus out of
that's right- you know, like fear, rabbits like those, though the search for might need eventually found, and they thought
So I don't remember, I wrote a blog posts, that of the republic. To whatever could it's been a while
but yet they figured out. Who was pretty much so this? Is it on that level? Not just marshmallows? Yes it! So
Oh there is one other point I want to bring up. Their thought was pretty interesting and horrible from that John Tyranny, article, where, with with decision fatigued with exercise willpower, disproportionately affects the port, and they think that, possibly now that poverty exists in a cycle, because if you are poor person, you have to exercise willpower and it has to make more decisions than somebody who has more resources, more money like say, you're, walking through the grocery store. You know
I want the soap and this food yeah. If your poor, you might have to say, I want both, but I have to just by one- and I have enough for both. So how much is it going to be, and there
no power there their root there. Their resources of of will power of decision making become fatigued a lot faster because they have to exercise a lot more and they don't have the the resources to give himself
out of poverty to indulge or to our legs daddy. Or do we do more than that
they already have the deck stacked against them source wise. But then you throw in this this idea of willpower, possibly that's that makes it even more difficult point, a wreath of an as yet and it's pretty interesting stuff and make sure it makes you feel forum even more, and it makes me feel bad say do I want that?
but again ass, the cup gave us a chocolate. You know it disgusting, Gimme, those exactly well, you can buy both and that is take wonder somebody who's struggling in the grocery store, trying to figure things out. My Soper food. It's good idea,
problems its human nature to hate problems. But why is that, after all problems, inspire us to mend things bend things make things better? That's why so many people work with IBM on everything, from city traffic to ocean plastic, new schools to new energy flight delays to food safety. Smart loves problems, IBM, let's put smart to work, visit, IBM dot com, flash smart to learn more
you gonna salesmen. Now this is a good one. Yeah alike. Will parrots Fund go out an exercise in little ways it's fun or don't either that or scrap a car batteries?
you guys, but this report.
Okay. Well, if you want to learn more about willpower and read this kid article by Robert Lamm, you can type in willpower in the search bar at Howstuffworks, dot, com and it will bring it up, and, I said, search part was time for listen to mail.
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Transcript generated on 2019-12-18.