Q&A: Willpower Expert Roy Baumeister on Staying in Control

TIME:

It’s the third week of the new year, and many of us are realizing that those New Year’s resolutions are getting harder to keep. So TIME asked Roy Baumeister, professor of psychology at Florida State University and co-author of the bestselling book, Willpower for tips, gleaned from the latest scientific research, on how maximize self control, especially when you need it most.

What does energy and glucose — the fuel our bodies extract from food — have to do with willpower?

Self regulation depends on a limited energy supply. As you use it, [your willpower] gets temporarily depleted [as your energy stores fall], but if you use [willpower] a lot, your capacity improves [because you can change how you allocate your energy]. As the day wears on, people get worse and worse and more likely to give in to temptation. If you are spending a day at the beach, there may be no effect, but the accumulating demands of the day can really deplete you.

Read the whole story: TIME

See Roy F. Baumeister at the 25th APS Annual Convention: APS Award Address and Theme Program

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