“The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty”

From Dan Ariely’s social psychology book,

In his chapter, “Why we blow it when we’re tired,” Ariely cites a study by researchers testing to see whether having a lot to think about would tax the brain and make it more difficult to resist temptation. The answer was a resounding YES. They called it “ego depletion,” noting that resisting temptation takes a lot of effort and energy . Ariely suggests we think of willpower as a muscle that gets tired. Which is why, after a day of saying no all day to foods that tempt us, we may eat all evening.

So how do we use that knowledge to our benefit? We can put away food items that would be tempting to us, putting them in the cupboard instead of on the counter. We can make decisions ahead of time about how we want to deal with bread or dessert at a party or dinner (ex. I’llĀ eat one roll if it really looks fabulous). And we can take breaks to calm our mind and body, recharging ourselves so we’re not depleted from performing one task after another, making one decision after another.

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