Thursday, 13 August 2009

Research Shows Temptation More Powerful Than Individuals Realize

Whether it's highlighted in major news headlines about Argentinean affairs and Ponzi schemes, or in personal battles with obesity and drug addiction, individuals regularly succumb to greed, lust and self-destructive behaviors. New research from the Kellogg School of Management examines why this is the case, and demonstrates that individuals believe they have more restraint than they actually possess - ultimately leading to poor decision-making.

The study, led by Loran Nordgren, senior lecturer of management and organizations at the Kellogg School, examined how an individual's belief in his/her ability to control impulses such as greed, drug craving and sexual arousal influenced responses to temptation. The research found the sample, on average, displayed a "restraint bias," causing individuals to miscalculate the amount of temptation they could truly handle, in turn leading to a greater likelihood of indulging impulsive or addictive behavior.

"People are not good at anticipating the power of their urges, and those who are the most confident about their self-control are the most likely to give into temptation," said Nordgren. "The key is simply to avoid any situations where vices and other weaknesses thrive and, most importantly, for individuals to keep a humble view of their willpower." Read more
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2 comments:

David said...

Do we need research to tell us this? Still it's easier to understand than Romans 7. I think we need to recognise where temptation begins and avoid for example visiting the supermarket when hungry, paying attention to adverts, reading menus in windows etc

David
West Yorkshire

stanw said...

Guess we don't necessarily need the research but it sure pinpointed the reality of temptation. To me it is a real thing and have often fell when confronted by it because I miscalculated what I could or could not handle. Some things call for me to run but when I linger for a moment, oops, too late. Takes discipline and for a man (man's point of view only of course) especially sexual temptation is one of the hardest (speaking from my life experience) for me. Keeping a humble view of my willpower is certainly crucial.