In a refreshing change from research that looks for excuses for everyday vices in people’s genes or family background, a study from the Kellogg School of Management looks at things like temptation, willpower and humility (yes, really) in impulsive and addictive behaviour.
Previous research has shown that people in a “cold state” (not experiencing hunger, anger, sexual arousal and so on) tend to underestimate how a “hot”, impulsive state will influence their behaviour.
The new study led by Loran Nordgren confirmed that, and also found that those who are most confident about their self-control are the most likely to give into temptation.
“People are not good at anticipating the power of their urges, and those who are the most confident about their self-control are the most likely to give into temptation,” said Nordgren. “The key is simply to avoid any situations where vices and other weaknesses thrive and, most importantly, for individuals to keep a humble view of their willpower.”