The Huffington Post:
This morning, while the coffee was brewing, I walked out my back door, strolled to my mailbox at the curb, and strolled back. Along the way, I picked up not only yesterday’s mail, but also the daily paper, which had been tossed on the lawn, and an empty garbage can. I put the garbage can back where it belongs, near the garage, and brought the mail and paper inside. I did this without a glitch, effortlessly.
Or so it seemed. Of course, it was not effortless. I had to lift and walk and carry and lift again, and so forth. I also had to plan. Should I walk all the way to the mailbox, get the mail, then pick up the paper? Or grab the garbage can on the way to the curb? Or first the paper, then the mail, then… You see what I mean. I wasn’t aware of making any choices or calculations, but clearly I did, just as we all do every day as we navigate our world.
Psychological scientists are very interested in such ordinary, everyday planning, because it may reflect certain habits of mind are shaping more consequential plans and actions. Among those scientists is Penn State’s David Rosenbaum, who with his colleagues Lanyun Gong and Cory Adam Potts has been studying effort — when and why we either spend or conserve our energy. They set out to confirm the intuitive notion that we don’t use any more effort than we must in our routine daily actions.
Read the whole story: The Huffington Post
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