Uh-oh. Here comes temptation—for a dieter, it’s a sweet treat; an alcoholic, a beer; a married man, an attractive, available woman. How to defeat the impulse to gratify desire and stick to your long-term goals of slimness, sobriety, or fidelity?
Here’s some advice: Don’t stop and think. Thinking may not help.
That is one surprising conclusion of a new study by Loran Nordgren and Eileen Chou at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Nordgren and Chou wanted to make sense of two contradictory bodies of literature. “One shows that the presence of temptation contorts cognition in ways that promotes impulsive behavior,” says Nordgren. Another shows that “temptation engages protective [thought] processes that promote self-control. You show a dieter a piece of cake, and an early thought is ‘I’m dieting’—and ‘no thanks.’”
If someone is really hungry or horny, or they really crave something, like a cigarette the readiness to rationalize giving in is higher regardless of what the stay the course part of you says. Probably part of the reason dieters, for instance, usually fail, at least the first time around. I tend to think there is something to substitution behavior. Substitute eating celery in place of cookies. Organize your closet instead of smoking. Addictions are tough to break partly because they become such an ingrained part of the way we live. In addition to breaking a habit you’re changing your lifestyle. Lifestyles are comfort zones. We love our comfort zones.
On Nov. 8, Mississippians will vote on a constitutional amendment that would declare, for legal purposes, that a fertilized human egg is an actual person. The primary goal of the amendment, conceived and pushed by pro-life activists, is to bar all abortion in Mississippi, as well as the kinds of birth control that affect fertilized eggs. But the legal implications are much more profound: The amendment, writes the New York Times, “effectively brand[s] abortion and some forms of birth control as murder,” raising the possibility that doctors and even expectant women could be prosecuted for ending pregnancies.
Herman Cain who keeps bringing up Antebellum imagery such as blacks being on the Democratic plantation, supports this kind of legislation. There is some irony in Cain and other conservatives wanting to bring America back to the per-Emancipation era in regards to women. If the government has the last word over personal medical decisions that is de facto ownership of that person. In this case women. Though it affects men as well. Do America’s fathers want the government to make their daughters and wives medical decisions for them. Do brothers want the feds telling their sisters they must carry a rapist’s baby to term. Maybe the entire conservative field of presidential candidates took a wrong turn, they think they’re running for grand ayatollah of Iran.
Kharma is Coming – Kenna