Tag Archives | Self-control

Is Willpower a Limited Resource Which Can be Cultivated with Exercise?

Picture: Robbin Cresswell (PD)

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” – Aiwass

New developments in biological science suggest your willpower is drawn from a limited supply of chemicals which accumulate in the brain over time.

According to Wired willpower is:

a measurable form of mental energy that runs out as you use it, much like the gas in your car.

Roy Baumeister, a psychologist at Florida State University, calls this “ego depletion,” and he proved its existence by sitting students next to a plate of fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies. Some were allowed to snack away, others ordered to abstain. Afterward, both groups were asked to complete difficult puzzles. The students who’d been forced to resist the cookies had so depleted their reserves of self-control that when faced with this new task, they quickly threw in the towel. The cookie eaters, on the other hand, had conserved their willpower and worked on the puzzles longer.

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