Hold The Chocolate Chip Cookies

The theory and principle behind ‘Ego Depletion’ has been with us quite a long time (close to 20 years). It’s been incredibly powerful and influential, shaping theories related to effective handling of procrastination, losing weight, motivating employees in the workplace, point of sale techniques to get people to buy, classroom management with young children and many other important ideas.

So, to learn that the experiments that led to the development of the theory are now being questioned amid conflict and argument in the world of social psychology is a bit unnerving.

The whole spat is well explained in this article:

Slate – Everything Is Crumbling

Having read Roy Baumeister’s book – Willpower a few years ago my own personal belief is that the issue is more about difficulties in setting up experiments that isolate the single factor being studied. Intuitively, I believe in the idea of a reservoir of willpower that gets drained more or less by certain things. Anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight through modifying their diet can vouch that the slip-ups and failures don’t happen early in the day. They happen later in the day, often catching the vigilant dieter completely off guard. it’s almost as if the harder they try, the greater the risk of failure.

Again, this highlights that as our knowledge in the fields of psychology grows there will be times when there will be setbacks, when routes to new learning turn in to cul de sacs. Nevertheless, this is important work that leads us to better understanding how we as humans can live our best lives.

One Response

  1. […] Hold the Chocolate Chip Cookies […]

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