Friday, April 4, 2008

What Do Cookies and Test-taking Have in Common?

Hat tip to A. Tabarrok over at Marginal Revolution.

'The brain’s store of willpower is depleted when people control their thoughts, feelings or impulses, or when they modify their behavior in pursuit of goals. Psychologist Roy Baumeister and others have found that people who successfully accomplish one task requiring self-control are less persistent on a second, seemingly unrelated task.

In one pioneering study, some people were asked to eat radishes while others received freshly baked chocolate chip cookies before trying to solve an impossible puzzle. The radish-eaters abandoned the puzzle in eight minutes on average, working less than half as long as people who got cookies or those who were excused from eating radishes.'

Hmm. Fascinating and true. To me, at least. But then again, radish never did much for me.
What do you think?
Read full NY times article here.

2 comments:

Mary said...

OMG. I SO agree with this article!!!
Is that why writers get chubby when writing under pressure..... Hm.

Becca said...

Appetite-suppressants are not conducive to creativity. Oh, radish, you've got to go.