The Boston Globe:
Self-control is generally thought to be a limited resource; studies have shown that it’s depleted by exertion, like muscle power. But a team of researchers is challenging the “energy model” of self-control: In new research, they found no evidence that depletion of self-control corresponded to blood sugar levels. Even more surprising, they found that simply rinsing one’s mouth with a sugar solution negated the depletion of self-control on both physical and cognitive tasks compared to rinsing one’s mouth with an artificial-sweetener solution. This was true even though subjects didn’t actually ingest the solution and couldn’t tell exactly what was in it. Therefore, the taste of sugar seems to be subconsciously enabling self-control.
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