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The Complete Guide to Self-Control | Scott H Young
"Indulge now and pay the price later? Or wait a little and reap bigger rewards in the future? Many of life’s biggest challenges come down to a simple trade off. "
akrasia  self-control  psychology 
6 weeks ago by tsuomela
"Self-control problems constitute a potential explanation for the under-investment in preventivehealth in low-income countries. Behavioral economics offers a tool to solve such problems:commitment devices. We conduct a field experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of differenttypes of theoretically-motivated commitment contracts in increasing preventive doctor visitsby hypertensive patients in rural India. Despite achieving high take-up of such contracts insome treatment arms, we find no effects on actual doctor visits or individual health outcomes.A substantial number of individuals pay for commitment but fail to follow through on thedoctor visit, losing money without experiencing health benefits. We develop and structurallyestimate a pre-specified model of consumer behavior under present bias with varying levels ofnaivete. The results are consistent with a large share of individuals being partially naive abouttheir own self-control problems: sophisticated enough to demand some commitment, but overlyoptimistic about whether a given level of commitment is sufficiently strong to be effective. Theresults suggest that commitment devices may in practice be welfare diminishing, at least in somecontexts, and serve as a cautionary tale about their role in health care.
gautam.rao  health  liang.bai  self-control  present-bias  restat 
10 weeks ago by MarcK
How Emotionalism is Slowly Replacing Rationalism | Intellectual Takeout
It would seem that the repeated commands we’ve been fed in recent years to “let it all hang out,” or “express what you’re feeling” have been taken to heart.

But considering that self-command over one’s emotions was believed to be the wiser course for years, we should ask ourselves whether our full blown embrace of emotions is a good thing.

Is it possible that we have embraced the emotional outpouring in life because it is one of the few weapons with which we have left to work? Have we marginalized rational thinking and reasonable discourse to such an extent that the only way we can get our point across is to yell, scream, cry, or rant?

Although it’s never stated outright, Jane Austen’s Elinor is clearly portrayed as the stronger sister because of the control she exhibits over her emotions. Perhaps Americans would be stronger as a nation if more of her citizens stopped playing up their emotions and instead practiced greater self-command.
emotions  self-control  logic 
may 2019 by whatithunk
The myth of self-control - Vox - Pocket
New research finds that people who seem better at "self-control" are actually just more able (for a variety of reasons) to structure their lives so that temptations don't arise. Some of this is planning, some of it is a matter of resources, and there may also be a genetic component which affects the extent to which one feels tempted in the first place.
psychology  temptation  self-control  willpower  discipline 
april 2019 by johnmfrench
How Inuit Parents Raise Kids Without Yelling — And Teach Them To Control Anger : Goats and Soda : NPR
"Across the board, all the moms mention one golden rule: Don't shout or yell at small children.

Traditional Inuit parenting is incredibly nurturing and tender. If you took all the parenting styles around the world and ranked them by their gentleness, the Inuit approach would likely rank near the top. (They even have a special kiss for babies, where you put your nose against the cheek and sniff the skin.)

The culture views scolding — or even speaking to children in an angry voice — as inappropriate, says Lisa Ipeelie, a radio producer and mom who grew up with 12 siblings. "When they're little, it doesn't help to raise your voice," she says. "It will just make your own heart rate go up."

Even if the child hits you or bites you, there's no raising your voice?

"No," Ipeelie says with a giggle that seems to emphasize how silly my question is. "With little kids, you often think they're pushing your buttons, but that's not what's going on. They're upset about something, and you have to figure out what it is."

Traditionally, the Inuit saw yelling at a small child as demeaning. It's as if the adult is having a tantrum; it's basically stooping to the level of the child, Briggs documented.

Elders I spoke with say intense colonization over the past century is damaging these traditions. And, so, the community is working hard to keep the parenting approach intact.

Goota Jaw is at the front line of this effort. She teaches the parenting class at the Arctic College. Her own parenting style is so gentle that she doesn't even believe in giving a child a timeout for misbehaving.

"Shouting, 'Think about what you just did. Go to your room!' " Jaw says. "I disagree with that. That's not how we teach our children. Instead you are just teaching children to run away."

And you are teaching them to be angry, says clinical psychologist and author Laura Markham. "When we yell at a child — or even threaten with something like 'I'm starting to get angry,' we're training the child to yell," says Markham. "We're training them to yell when they get upset and that yelling solves problems."

In contrast, parents who control their own anger are helping their children learn to do the same, Markham says. "Kids learn emotional regulation from us."

I asked Markham if the Inuit's no-yelling policy might be their first secret of raising cool-headed kids. "Absolutely," she says."

"What Briggs documented is a central component to raising cool-headed kids.

When a child in the camp acted in anger — hit someone or had a tantrum — there was no punishment. Instead, the parents waited for the child to calm down and then, in a peaceful moment, did something that Shakespeare would understand all too well: They put on a drama. (As the Bard once wrote, "the play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.")

"The idea is to give the child experiences that will lead the child to develop rational thinking," Briggs told the CBC in 2011.

In a nutshell, the parent would act out what happened when the child misbehaved, including the real-life consequences of that behavior.

The parent always had a playful, fun tone. And typically the performance starts with a question, tempting the child to misbehave.

For example, if the child is hitting others, the mom may start a drama by asking: "Why don't you hit me?"

Then the child has to think: "What should I do?" If the child takes the bait and hits the mom, she doesn't scold or yell but instead acts out the consequences. "Ow, that hurts!" she might exclaim.

The mom continues to emphasize the consequences by asking a follow-up question. For example: "Don't you like me?" or "Are you a baby?" She is getting across the idea that hitting hurts people's feelings, and "big girls" wouldn't hit. But, again, all questions are asked with a hint of playfulness.

The parent repeats the drama from time to time until the child stops hitting the mom during the dramas and the misbehavior ends.

Ishulutak says these dramas teach children not to be provoked easily. "They teach you to be strong emotionally," she says, "to not take everything so seriously or to be scared of teasing."

Psychologist Peggy Miller, at the University of Illinois, agrees: "When you're little, you learn that people will provoke you, and these dramas teach you to think and maintain some equilibrium."

In other words, the dramas offer kids a chance to practice controlling their anger, Miller says, during times when they're not actually angry.

This practice is likely critical for children learning to control their anger. Because here's the thing about anger: Once someone is already angry, it is not easy for that person to squelch it — even for adults.

"When you try to control or change your emotions in the moment, that's a really hard thing to do," says Lisa Feldman Barrett, a psychologist at Northeastern University who studies how emotions work.

But if you practice having a different response or a different emotion at times when you're not angry, you'll have a better chance of managing your anger in those hot-button moments, Feldman Barrett says.

"That practice is essentially helping to rewire your brain to be able to make a different emotion [besides anger] much more easily," she says.

This emotional practice may be even more important for children, says psychologist Markham, because kids' brains are still developing the circuitry needed for self-control.

"Children have all kinds of big emotions," she says. "They don't have much prefrontal cortex yet. So what we do in responding to our child's emotions shapes their brain."

Markham recommends an approach close to that used by Inuit parents. When the kid misbehaves, she suggests, wait until everyone is calm. Then in a peaceful moment, go over what happened with the child. You can simply tell them the story about what occurred or use two stuffed animals to act it out.

"Those approaches develop self-control," Markham says.

Just be sure you do two things when you replay the misbehavior, she says. First, keep the child involved by asking many questions. For example, if the child has a hitting problem, you might stop midway through the puppet show and ask,"Bobby, wants to hit right now. Should he?"

Second, be sure to keep it fun. Many parents overlook play as a tool for discipline, Markham says. But fantasy play offers oodles of opportunities to teach children proper behavior.

"Play is their work," Markham says. "That's how they learn about the world and about their experiences."

Which seems to be something the Inuit have known for hundreds, perhaps even, thousands of years."
anger  parenting  2019  anthropology  psychology  inuit  children  yelling  self-control  punishment  emotions  behavior 
april 2019 by robertogreco
There's a dark side to self-control. Here's why you should loosen up | New Scientist Nov 2018
"Willpower is the secret of success – or so we've been told. But too much can be bad for the body and mind. The trick is to know when to give in to temptation"

"Much of our current understanding of self-control stems from the work of psychologist Walter Mischel "

"What’s more, the greater obedience associated with high self-control may be damaging for oneself as well as others. People with high self-control report feeling less satisfied with their partners and colleagues, believing that others take advantage of their dependability."

"She found that small cues indicating high self-control (whether someone flosses their teeth, for instance) prompted volunteers to allocate them more work, while also underestimating the effort they would need to put in to complete the work. The assumption, it seemed, was that someone with high self-control could simply “get on with it”. Koval says she has witnessed many friends and colleagues who have been taken advantage of in this way. "

"And it gets worse. In the long run, high self-control can be a source of regret. ... Rather than feeling pride in their achievements, most wished that they had exercised less self-control, not more."

"Perhaps the most troubling finding, however, comes from a survey of nearly 700 African American families from poor neighbourhoods. In line with much of the previous research, teachers’ assessments of children’s self-control predicted many later outcomes: those scoring highly were more likely to enter college, for instance. Yet they also had high blood pressure and showed elevated levels of hormones commonly associated with stress."

" At the very least, programmes designed to boost self-control should offer greater support to help children cope with those additional stresses. But Uziel is also keen on using so-called nudge techniques to improve behaviour without the need for self-control. "

"As Uziel points out, people with high self-control may doggedly pursue a goal even once it has stopped being personally meaningful. You might also make more effort to deliberately leave empty windows in your diary that allow greater spontaneity and indulgence (see “A lazy path to self-control”)."
NewScientist  willpower  self-control  * 
april 2019 by pierredv
Why willpower is overrated
But this idea, that people have self-control because they’re good at willpower, is looking more and more like a myth. It turns out that self-control, and all the benefits from it, may not be related to inhibiting impulses at all. And once we cast aside the idea of willpower, we can better understand what actually works to accomplish goals, and hit those New Year’s resolutions.
capitalism  self-control  self-restraint 
march 2019 by kmclel1

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