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Muscle Building and Fat Loss...

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  • J72FITJ72FIT Posts: 5,292Member Member Posts: 5,292Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    SnifterPug wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    This is a total aside to the thread, but:

    I think there are at least two possible paths to appreciating/practicing those skills (and I think things like persistence and patience are skills (vs. "talents" or something). One path is simply learning to chip away patiently at a long, worthwhile goal, for the goal's sake. The other path is to learn to enjoy the process of chipping.

    So many worthwhile things are long-term investments, in one way or another. Fast gratification is fun, but can be a trap.

    And I say that as a ridiculously self-indulgent hedonist. ;)

    You are so right, and I have to comment even though we are off at a tangent to the thread.

    One of the huge eye-openers for me in coming late to fitness is exactly this. I come from an educational background where results were everything. Thus you dropped what you were not immediately good at and concentrated on what you were good at. For subjects you simply had to take due to the national curriculum the school coached you on how to pass an exam.

    I was poor at sports and never realised a) the physical pleasure to be gained from some sheer hard work and b) the sense of achievement when you've spent weeks or months trying to do something and you finally get there.

    Now I love finding something new I can't do (yet).

    Exactly. I don't know that I would've been able to "do weight loss" effectively if I hadn't first learned to row starting at age 46. I completely s**ked at it when I started, to the point of needing to learn skills before I could learn skills (I had no kinesthetic sense to the point of absurdity, nor visual-learning skills; had to learn physical skills entirely through verbal description, which is Majorly Disfunctional, for example - I couldn't refine my rowing stroke past a certain point until I got some ability to feel and see . . . which was slow, slow, slow.)

    Somehow, implicitly, that process - which I wasn't really even fully conscious of until much, much later - taught me some skills I hadn't had, with respect to patiently chipping away at something. (I already had some deferred gratification circuitry, in some domains, like retirement savings; but that's not exactly the same as those persistent-small-progress how-to skills.)

    I'm pretty sure that contributed to my ability to use calorie counting to lose weight, and I'm 100% sure it contributed to my deciding at age 57 that I was finally going to try to teach myself to play bluegrass banjo. At 63, I still s**k at that, and I'm going to do so for a really, really long time. :lol: Enjoying the process, though.
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    J72FIT wrote: »
    I blame this on the diet and fitness industry, who, IMO purposefully overcomplicate this stuff to keep themselves in business.

    I think it is interesting what the fitness industry has been able to kind of sell people as ideas because of what they can't sell to them as products - there's only so many weights and barbells that can be sold, but BCAA's, preworkouts, fat burners, and protein powders can all be sold to the same individuals for daily consumption.

    Which I think creates an incredibly funny image: all kinds of people wanting to look like a barbarian, but they're mixing up more powders than a wizard.

    I believe the fitness industry has also done some clever things with using ill-founded ideas to sell more products, too. Specifically, I'm thinking of ideas that we need to cause "muscle confusion", to "shock our body", and that sort of thing, in order to make progress.

    If one can't lose weight or get fit without switching up one's workout routine often to "confuse" and "shock", then one will need to be buying the latest fitness toys and exercise programs, not just the consumable foods/supplements.

    Pushing products may also be some of the impetus behind trendiness in programs, too. Remember when we all needed to stay in "the fat burning zone"? Now we need to "do HIIT" in order to get that "24-hour afterburn".

    We also get varying emphasis on body parts over time, too: Six pack, core, booty, . . . .

    Sell, sell, sell; overcomplicate, obfuscate. :lol:
    How muscle confusion became a thing is confusing in and of itself. Potentially there's a tiny grain of truth - I've heard of some studies suggesting exercise staleness, but on the scale of a macrocycle. In general though, hypertrophy relies on the exact opposite of muscle confusion - one has to become proficient in an exercise before adding weight to it puts a strain on muscles that elicits growth, otherwise initial increases in performance are just skill, not muscle.
    I suppose it works as a sales pitch because it can really make people feel like they're making progress by constantly switching to something they can progress at with skill acquisition.

    I'm aware that this is more a rant or a tantrum than a rational debate point, but it seems mystifying to me that this "confuse/shock" rhetoric often seems to arise in programs (such as some of the Beachbody-type empires) where otherwise-useful skills are not really so much ever acquired, it's more like "dance and do circuits this way" or "do aerobics that looks kinda like a martial art but isn't" or "hip hop aerobics" vs. "salsa aerobics".

    I'm not saying that these kinds of programs don't build/sustain fitness or strength (at least to a point), but it's arbitrary movements for the sake of exercise (and maybe fun), not skill-building in any kind of otherwise potentially useful skills (as might be the case for dance performance, or progressive strength programs, or useable martial arts, or something).

    And I'm not criticizing people who do these programs, who find them fun and productive from a fitness/exercise standpoint: I think that's just great.

    It's just the marketing I'm fussing about, pushing people from one aerobics-y, circuit-y program to the next, because "shock" and "confusion".

    I also think Heybales makes good points about people thinking they're burning lots more calories because the new program "feels harder" than the familiar program they've gotten better at executing, in the cardio realm especially; and Carlos makes good points about more complex reasons for switching up strength routines getting transmogrified into arbitrary platitudes about switching things up to "shock" and "confuse" (either because the marketer doesn't think very subtly, or is cynically convinced that the audience can't handle actual nuanced information, which is just insulting).
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    J72FIT wrote: »
    I blame this on the diet and fitness industry, who, IMO purposefully overcomplicate this stuff to keep themselves in business.

    I think it is interesting what the fitness industry has been able to kind of sell people as ideas because of what they can't sell to them as products - there's only so many weights and barbells that can be sold, but BCAA's, preworkouts, fat burners, and protein powders can all be sold to the same individuals for daily consumption.

    Which I think creates an incredibly funny image: all kinds of people wanting to look like a barbarian, but they're mixing up more powders than a wizard.

    I believe the fitness industry has also done some clever things with using ill-founded ideas to sell more products, too. Specifically, I'm thinking of ideas that we need to cause "muscle confusion", to "shock our body", and that sort of thing, in order to make progress.

    If one can't lose weight or get fit without switching up one's workout routine often to "confuse" and "shock", then one will need to be buying the latest fitness toys and exercise programs, not just the consumable foods/supplements.

    Pushing products may also be some of the impetus behind trendiness in programs, too. Remember when we all needed to stay in "the fat burning zone"? Now we need to "do HIIT" in order to get that "24-hour afterburn".

    We also get varying emphasis on body parts over time, too: Six pack, core, booty, . . . .

    Sell, sell, sell; overcomplicate, obfuscate. :lol:
    How muscle confusion became a thing is confusing in and of itself. Potentially there's a tiny grain of truth - I've heard of some studies suggesting exercise staleness, but on the scale of a macrocycle. In general though, hypertrophy relies on the exact opposite of muscle confusion - one has to become proficient in an exercise before adding weight to it puts a strain on muscles that elicits growth, otherwise initial increases in performance are just skill, not muscle.
    I suppose it works as a sales pitch because it can really make people feel like they're making progress by constantly switching to something they can progress at with skill acquisition.

    This is precisely the core of many of these programs.

    It is very challenging for humans to see the value in sacrificing the present for the future, especially when one goes through days/weeks/months without seeing results.

    Over the long term this is why all trending ends up in statistically identical points, but exhibit dramatic change at the beginning.

    Along these same lines, I think many of us struggle not just with deferred gratification (which we certainly do), but also with the sort of thing that requires, after a certain point, continuing practice and refinement to increase skills so very slowly at the margin, that progress is only observable over quite long time-scales. To a certain extent this applies to fitness (fast gains initially, slower gains later, typically), but also to things like learning to play a musical instrument, mastering a profession, practicing a visual art or complex craft, etc.

    This is also one of the root causes of disparity and will get worse. If there is one practice to impart to your children I would put it all into this.


    Epigenetics is providing objective evidence that man cannot fully reach their potential without struggle and resistance, which lends credence to the old curse "I wish you a long and easy life".

    What type of disparity do you mean and where, geographically, are you talking about?

    I'm not CSARdiver . . . so, so not. ;)

    FWIW, I took him to be nodding at the concepts behind the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment and its follow-ons (in the deferred gratification aspect) and the very applied skills (not just platitudes or concepts) behind goal setting (especially big, complex goals) and goal accomplishment, including problem solving (obstacle-busting or obstacle-skirting included, if you will). If that's a correct interpretation, I think he's right.

    (It doesn't explain the epigenetics aspect of the comment, but I know squat about epigenetics; I took that as "there is no persisting/accomplishment if no resistance, from gene expression on up", but that's speculative on my part.)

    I'm not educated much about education/pedagogy, but I'm challenged to see how children learn these things viscerally without exemplars in their lives, most probably family members, and opportunities to practice, probably from quite a young age. It would be hard to address via some curriculum, I think. Since these are skill sets that many/most of us aren't super-duper at (me included), that's a tough issue, but it's one that definitely has big consequences for individuals, as well as consequences at a societal level.

    Sorry OP. So far off topic! I'll try to stop . . .

    Not at all. I love where this is going...
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    SnifterPug wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    This is a total aside to the thread, but:

    I think there are at least two possible paths to appreciating/practicing those skills (and I think things like persistence and patience are skills (vs. "talents" or something). One path is simply learning to chip away patiently at a long, worthwhile goal, for the goal's sake. The other path is to learn to enjoy the process of chipping.

    So many worthwhile things are long-term investments, in one way or another. Fast gratification is fun, but can be a trap.

    And I say that as a ridiculously self-indulgent hedonist. ;)

    You are so right, and I have to comment even though we are off at a tangent to the thread.

    One of the huge eye-openers for me in coming late to fitness is exactly this. I come from an educational background where results were everything. Thus you dropped what you were not immediately good at and concentrated on what you were good at. For subjects you simply had to take due to the national curriculum the school coached you on how to pass an exam.

    I was poor at sports and never realised a) the physical pleasure to be gained from some sheer hard work and b) the sense of achievement when you've spent weeks or months trying to do something and you finally get there.

    Now I love finding something new I can't do (yet).

    Exactly. I don't know that I would've been able to "do weight loss" effectively if I hadn't first learned to row starting at age 46. I completely s**ked at it when I started, to the point of needing to learn skills before I could learn skills (I had no kinesthetic sense to the point of absurdity, nor visual-learning skills; had to learn physical skills entirely through verbal description, which is Majorly Disfunctional, for example - I couldn't refine my rowing stroke past a certain point until I got some ability to feel and see . . . which was slow, slow, slow.)

    Somehow, implicitly, that process - which I wasn't really even fully conscious of until much, much later - taught me some skills I hadn't had, with respect to patiently chipping away at something. (I already had some deferred gratification circuitry, in some domains, like retirement savings; but that's not exactly the same as those persistent-small-progress how-to skills.)

    I'm pretty sure that contributed to my ability to use calorie counting to lose weight, and I'm 100% sure it contributed to my deciding at age 57 that I was finally going to try to teach myself to play bluegrass banjo. At 63, I still s**k at that, and I'm going to do so for a really, really long time. :lol: Enjoying the process, though.
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    J72FIT wrote: »
    I blame this on the diet and fitness industry, who, IMO purposefully overcomplicate this stuff to keep themselves in business.

    I think it is interesting what the fitness industry has been able to kind of sell people as ideas because of what they can't sell to them as products - there's only so many weights and barbells that can be sold, but BCAA's, preworkouts, fat burners, and protein powders can all be sold to the same individuals for daily consumption.

    Which I think creates an incredibly funny image: all kinds of people wanting to look like a barbarian, but they're mixing up more powders than a wizard.

    I believe the fitness industry has also done some clever things with using ill-founded ideas to sell more products, too. Specifically, I'm thinking of ideas that we need to cause "muscle confusion", to "shock our body", and that sort of thing, in order to make progress.

    If one can't lose weight or get fit without switching up one's workout routine often to "confuse" and "shock", then one will need to be buying the latest fitness toys and exercise programs, not just the consumable foods/supplements.

    Pushing products may also be some of the impetus behind trendiness in programs, too. Remember when we all needed to stay in "the fat burning zone"? Now we need to "do HIIT" in order to get that "24-hour afterburn".

    We also get varying emphasis on body parts over time, too: Six pack, core, booty, . . . .

    Sell, sell, sell; overcomplicate, obfuscate. :lol:
    How muscle confusion became a thing is confusing in and of itself. Potentially there's a tiny grain of truth - I've heard of some studies suggesting exercise staleness, but on the scale of a macrocycle. In general though, hypertrophy relies on the exact opposite of muscle confusion - one has to become proficient in an exercise before adding weight to it puts a strain on muscles that elicits growth, otherwise initial increases in performance are just skill, not muscle.
    I suppose it works as a sales pitch because it can really make people feel like they're making progress by constantly switching to something they can progress at with skill acquisition.

    I'm aware that this is more a rant or a tantrum than a rational debate point, but it seems mystifying to me that this "confuse/shock" rhetoric often seems to arise in programs (such as some of the Beachbody-type empires) where otherwise-useful skills are not really so much ever acquired, it's more like "dance and do circuits this way" or "do aerobics that looks kinda like a martial art but isn't" or "hip hop aerobics" vs. "salsa aerobics".

    I'm not saying that these kinds of programs don't build/sustain fitness or strength (at least to a point), but it's arbitrary movements for the sake of exercise (and maybe fun), not skill-building in any kind of otherwise potentially useful skills (as might be the case for dance performance, or progressive strength programs, or useable martial arts, or something).

    And I'm not criticizing people who do these programs, who find them fun and productive from a fitness/exercise standpoint: I think that's just great.

    It's just the marketing I'm fussing about, pushing people from one aerobics-y, circuit-y program to the next, because "shock" and "confusion".

    I also think Heybales makes good points about people thinking they're burning lots more calories because the new program "feels harder" than the familiar program they've gotten better at executing, in the cardio realm especially; and Carlos makes good points about more complex reasons for switching up strength routines getting transmogrified into arbitrary platitudes about switching things up to "shock" and "confuse" (either because the marketer doesn't think very subtly, or is cynically convinced that the audience can't handle actual nuanced information, which is just insulting).
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    J72FIT wrote: »
    I blame this on the diet and fitness industry, who, IMO purposefully overcomplicate this stuff to keep themselves in business.

    I think it is interesting what the fitness industry has been able to kind of sell people as ideas because of what they can't sell to them as products - there's only so many weights and barbells that can be sold, but BCAA's, preworkouts, fat burners, and protein powders can all be sold to the same individuals for daily consumption.

    Which I think creates an incredibly funny image: all kinds of people wanting to look like a barbarian, but they're mixing up more powders than a wizard.

    I believe the fitness industry has also done some clever things with using ill-founded ideas to sell more products, too. Specifically, I'm thinking of ideas that we need to cause "muscle confusion", to "shock our body", and that sort of thing, in order to make progress.

    If one can't lose weight or get fit without switching up one's workout routine often to "confuse" and "shock", then one will need to be buying the latest fitness toys and exercise programs, not just the consumable foods/supplements.

    Pushing products may also be some of the impetus behind trendiness in programs, too. Remember when we all needed to stay in "the fat burning zone"? Now we need to "do HIIT" in order to get that "24-hour afterburn".

    We also get varying emphasis on body parts over time, too: Six pack, core, booty, . . . .

    Sell, sell, sell; overcomplicate, obfuscate. :lol:
    How muscle confusion became a thing is confusing in and of itself. Potentially there's a tiny grain of truth - I've heard of some studies suggesting exercise staleness, but on the scale of a macrocycle. In general though, hypertrophy relies on the exact opposite of muscle confusion - one has to become proficient in an exercise before adding weight to it puts a strain on muscles that elicits growth, otherwise initial increases in performance are just skill, not muscle.
    I suppose it works as a sales pitch because it can really make people feel like they're making progress by constantly switching to something they can progress at with skill acquisition.

    This is precisely the core of many of these programs.

    It is very challenging for humans to see the value in sacrificing the present for the future, especially when one goes through days/weeks/months without seeing results.

    Over the long term this is why all trending ends up in statistically identical points, but exhibit dramatic change at the beginning.

    Along these same lines, I think many of us struggle not just with deferred gratification (which we certainly do), but also with the sort of thing that requires, after a certain point, continuing practice and refinement to increase skills so very slowly at the margin, that progress is only observable over quite long time-scales. To a certain extent this applies to fitness (fast gains initially, slower gains later, typically), but also to things like learning to play a musical instrument, mastering a profession, practicing a visual art or complex craft, etc.

    This is also one of the root causes of disparity and will get worse. If there is one practice to impart to your children I would put it all into this.


    Epigenetics is providing objective evidence that man cannot fully reach their potential without struggle and resistance, which lends credence to the old curse "I wish you a long and easy life".

    What type of disparity do you mean and where, geographically, are you talking about?

    I'm not CSARdiver . . . so, so not. ;)

    FWIW, I took him to be nodding at the concepts behind the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment and its follow-ons (in the deferred gratification aspect) and the very applied skills (not just platitudes or concepts) behind goal setting (especially big, complex goals) and goal accomplishment, including problem solving (obstacle-busting or obstacle-skirting included, if you will). If that's a correct interpretation, I think he's right.

    (It doesn't explain the epigenetics aspect of the comment, but I know squat about epigenetics; I took that as "there is no persisting/accomplishment if no resistance, from gene expression on up", but that's speculative on my part.)

    I'm not educated much about education/pedagogy, but I'm challenged to see how children learn these things viscerally without exemplars in their lives, most probably family members, and opportunities to practice, probably from quite a young age. It would be hard to address via some curriculum, I think. Since these are skill sets that many/most of us aren't super-duper at (me included), that's a tough issue, but it's one that definitely has big consequences for individuals, as well as consequences at a societal level.

    Sorry OP. So far off topic! I'll try to stop . . .

    I'd say you nailed it quite effectively dear lady. Apologies to the OP, but I see muscle building/fat loss as a symptom of this root cause. Happily you seem to agree.

    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.

    There certainly are unscrupulous people in the world who look to take advantage, but I know that many proponents of the "shocking the body" theories actually believe this. While the outcome may be correct, the cause is quite different.

    As to the epigentics portion there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that genes are not activated unless needed. It's one of those concepts that should be patently obvious, yet now there is increasing objective evidence. So academic - proving what is everyone already knows.

    So just as a muscle develops under resistance over time and degrades with disuse, humans do the same on a greater level. Society does the same on a macro level. Man needs resistance and we know it at a primal level. If resistance does not exist we seem to create it. This is DEFINITELY scotch talking at this point - I'm simply a willing vessel.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,981Member Member Posts: 2,981Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    edited September 18
  • J72FITJ72FIT Posts: 5,292Member Member Posts: 5,292Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity.

    Yes!!!
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 806Member Member Posts: 806Member Member
    To add:
    One thing people who are lean have in common - whether naturally, or via weight loss - is that thinking about food activates more of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex's raison d'être is, in a sense, delays gratification. It has projects that run back towards the hippocampus and acts as brakes, so that it makes you do the harder thing when you have to. The dorsolateral area in particular is associated with executive planning. Which I find interesting because people think delayed gratification is synomous with willpower. I think willpower is non-explanatory and assumes a certain kind of intentionality that isn't necessarily what happens, and that the dorsolateral is executive planning supports that I think. It is not so simply as one flexes a mental muscle and holds against a though, but that there is a decision weighing that goes on that comes up with some strategy that isn't necessarily willpower that stops the undesired behavior or leads to expressing the desired behavior.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    To add:
    One thing people who are lean have in common - whether naturally, or via weight loss - is that thinking about food activates more of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex's raison d'être is, in a sense, delays gratification. It has projects that run back towards the hippocampus and acts as brakes, so that it makes you do the harder thing when you have to. The dorsolateral area in particular is associated with executive planning. Which I find interesting because people think delayed gratification is synomous with willpower. I think willpower is non-explanatory and assumes a certain kind of intentionality that isn't necessarily what happens, and that the dorsolateral is executive planning supports that I think. It is not so simply as one flexes a mental muscle and holds against a though, but that there is a decision weighing that goes on that comes up with some strategy that isn't necessarily willpower that stops the undesired behavior or leads to expressing the desired behavior.

    I believe you've identified a root cause here in the resistance in accepting a known.

    Psychology is not my field, but as I understand this - Willpower is emotional - driven by the ventromedial prefrontal cortex boiling down to "I want". The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex engages and questions "I want X now, but does this serve Y later".

    Few look at a bodybuilder or athlete and get a grasp on the months and years of sacrifice it took for the person to achieve their present state. We have been conditioned to think of this person as gifted, lucky, etc. It certainly benefits those in the fitness industry to promote this thinking otherwise you have no need of their product if you realize that sacrifice + time will produce the same results.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 806Member Member Posts: 806Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    Kind of to be expected. The prefrontal cortex starts coming online in a strong way around puberty. By 15, a lot of dietary restraint patterns are already going to be there.

    You also have to consider that last sentence is prefaced by:
    But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment

    So the factors they're using to diminish the correlation are also possible factors that foster delayed gratification - like I don't honestly understand how you remove the component cognitive ability from delayed gratification, I would consider delayed gratification a cognitive ability.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,981Member Member Posts: 2,981Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    Kind of to be expected. The prefrontal cortex starts coming online in a strong way around puberty. By 15, a lot of dietary restraint patterns are already going to be there.

    You also have to consider that last sentence is prefaced by:
    But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment

    So the factors they're using to diminish the correlation are also possible factors that foster delayed gratification - like I don't honestly understand how you remove the component cognitive ability from delayed gratification, I would consider delayed gratification a cognitive ability.
    From the NPR story,
    The vast majority of children in Mischel's study were able to delay gratification when they reframed their interpretations of the situation in front of them.

    The point of the marshmallow test was to show how flexible people are — how easily changed if they simply reinterpret the way they frame the situation around them. But that's not the moral that our culture drew from the marshmallow study. We decided that those traits in the preschoolers were fixed — that their self-control at age 4 determined their success throughout life.
    ...
    The marshmallow test became the poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that are stable and consistent. And this drives Walter Mischel crazy.

    "That iconic story is upside-down wrong," Mischel says. "That your future is in a marshmallow. Because it isn't."
    Note - these kids weren't 15 when they were told how to reframe their interpretation. Additionally, the article from The Atlantic also mentions the socioeconomic factors that can lead a child to choose the instant gratification route. Those, quite logically, are not about cognitive ability. Nor is home environment or family background.

    And of course, none of this has to do with the causes of educational, wealth, and health disparities (among other disparities that I can think of at 6:40am).
    edited September 18
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    Kind of to be expected. The prefrontal cortex starts coming online in a strong way around puberty. By 15, a lot of dietary restraint patterns are already going to be there.

    You also have to consider that last sentence is prefaced by:
    But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment

    So the factors they're using to diminish the correlation are also possible factors that foster delayed gratification - like I don't honestly understand how you remove the component cognitive ability from delayed gratification, I would consider delayed gratification a cognitive ability.
    From the NPR story,
    The vast majority of children in Mischel's study were able to delay gratification when they reframed their interpretations of the situation in front of them.

    The point of the marshmallow test was to show how flexible people are — how easily changed if they simply reinterpret the way they frame the situation around them. But that's not the moral that our culture drew from the marshmallow study. We decided that those traits in the preschoolers were fixed — that their self-control at age 4 determined their success throughout life.
    ...
    The marshmallow test became the poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that are stable and consistent. And this drives Walter Mischel crazy.

    "That iconic story is upside-down wrong," Mischel says. "That your future is in a marshmallow. Because it isn't."
    Note - these kids weren't 15 when they were told how to reframe their interpretation. Additionally, the article from The Atlantic also mentions the socioeconomic factors that can lead a child to choose the instant gratification route. Those, quite logically, are not about cognitive ability. Nor is home environment or family background.

    And of course, none of this has to do with the causes of educational, wealth, and health disparities (among other disparities that I can think of at 6:40am).

    One cherry picked article and case closed? Can you think of a situation which disproves your assertion?

    A statement closes the mind. A question opens the mind.

    Does sacrifice impact disparity? Of course. To say otherwise is an act of escape - of ego protection. Just as one blames their weight on metabolism or some other minor variable, weight is an output of behavior. Wealth, education, etc. all the same. The competing variables may change, but the core concept is identical. The issue with each is a misunderstanding of the subject.

    Over 79% of millionaires in the United States grew their wealth through the basic principle of sacrificing their present wants for future goals maintaining the simple concept of spending less that income.

  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,981Member Member Posts: 2,981Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    Kind of to be expected. The prefrontal cortex starts coming online in a strong way around puberty. By 15, a lot of dietary restraint patterns are already going to be there.

    You also have to consider that last sentence is prefaced by:
    But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment

    So the factors they're using to diminish the correlation are also possible factors that foster delayed gratification - like I don't honestly understand how you remove the component cognitive ability from delayed gratification, I would consider delayed gratification a cognitive ability.
    From the NPR story,
    The vast majority of children in Mischel's study were able to delay gratification when they reframed their interpretations of the situation in front of them.

    The point of the marshmallow test was to show how flexible people are — how easily changed if they simply reinterpret the way they frame the situation around them. But that's not the moral that our culture drew from the marshmallow study. We decided that those traits in the preschoolers were fixed — that their self-control at age 4 determined their success throughout life.
    ...
    The marshmallow test became the poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that are stable and consistent. And this drives Walter Mischel crazy.

    "That iconic story is upside-down wrong," Mischel says. "That your future is in a marshmallow. Because it isn't."
    Note - these kids weren't 15 when they were told how to reframe their interpretation. Additionally, the article from The Atlantic also mentions the socioeconomic factors that can lead a child to choose the instant gratification route. Those, quite logically, are not about cognitive ability. Nor is home environment or family background.

    And of course, none of this has to do with the causes of educational, wealth, and health disparities (among other disparities that I can think of at 6:40am).

    One cherry picked article and case closed? Can you think of a situation which disproves your assertion?

    A statement closes the mind. A question opens the mind.

    Does sacrifice impact disparity? Of course. To say otherwise is an act of escape - of ego protection. Just as one blames their weight on metabolism or some other minor variable, weight is an output of behavior. Wealth, education, etc. all the same. The competing variables may change, but the core concept is identical. The issue with each is a misunderstanding of the subject.

    Over 79% of millionaires in the United States grew their wealth through the basic principle of sacrificing their present wants for future goals maintaining the simple concept of spending less that income.
    What are you claiming that my assertion is? I might be able to think of exceptions, but I need to know what you're claiming my assertion is before I actually answer that question.

    Wealth disparity has a heck of a lot more to do with societal privilege (which no, is not something that you choose to get or get rid of, it's structural) than with the ability to control your impulses. And then there's the whole wage disparity bit, the historical ability to own property, I could go on. Disparities surrounding education has a lot to do with racism even when controlling for socioeconomic class. Health disparities are linked to race and class (among other things.

    If you're only talking about weight then have at it, but after asking multiple times, it doesn't appear that you are. I also suspect that this will got effectively nowhere which wouldn't be surprising in the least.

    Lastly, a question to you given your saying that "A statement closes the mind. A question opens the mind" (which implies that I have a closed mind) - how would you explain the fact that academia is overwhelmingly white? Is that about impulse control? If so, how so?
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    Kind of to be expected. The prefrontal cortex starts coming online in a strong way around puberty. By 15, a lot of dietary restraint patterns are already going to be there.

    You also have to consider that last sentence is prefaced by:
    But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment

    So the factors they're using to diminish the correlation are also possible factors that foster delayed gratification - like I don't honestly understand how you remove the component cognitive ability from delayed gratification, I would consider delayed gratification a cognitive ability.
    From the NPR story,
    The vast majority of children in Mischel's study were able to delay gratification when they reframed their interpretations of the situation in front of them.

    The point of the marshmallow test was to show how flexible people are — how easily changed if they simply reinterpret the way they frame the situation around them. But that's not the moral that our culture drew from the marshmallow study. We decided that those traits in the preschoolers were fixed — that their self-control at age 4 determined their success throughout life.
    ...
    The marshmallow test became the poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that are stable and consistent. And this drives Walter Mischel crazy.

    "That iconic story is upside-down wrong," Mischel says. "That your future is in a marshmallow. Because it isn't."
    Note - these kids weren't 15 when they were told how to reframe their interpretation. Additionally, the article from The Atlantic also mentions the socioeconomic factors that can lead a child to choose the instant gratification route. Those, quite logically, are not about cognitive ability. Nor is home environment or family background.

    And of course, none of this has to do with the causes of educational, wealth, and health disparities (among other disparities that I can think of at 6:40am).

    One cherry picked article and case closed? Can you think of a situation which disproves your assertion?

    A statement closes the mind. A question opens the mind.

    Does sacrifice impact disparity? Of course. To say otherwise is an act of escape - of ego protection. Just as one blames their weight on metabolism or some other minor variable, weight is an output of behavior. Wealth, education, etc. all the same. The competing variables may change, but the core concept is identical. The issue with each is a misunderstanding of the subject.

    Over 79% of millionaires in the United States grew their wealth through the basic principle of sacrificing their present wants for future goals maintaining the simple concept of spending less that income.
    What are you claiming that my assertion is? I might be able to think of exceptions, but I need to know what you're claiming my assertion is before I actually answer that question.

    Wealth disparity has a heck of a lot more to do with societal privilege (which no, is not something that you choose to get or get rid of, it's structural) than with the ability to control your impulses. And then there's the whole wage disparity bit, the historical ability to own property, I could go on. Disparities surrounding education has a lot to do with racism even when controlling for socioeconomic class. Health disparities are linked to race and class (among other things.

    If you're only talking about weight then have at it, but after asking multiple times, it doesn't appear that you are. I also suspect that this will got effectively nowhere which wouldn't be surprising in the least.

    Lastly, a question to you given your saying that "A statement closes the mind. A question opens the mind" (which implies that I have a closed mind) - how would you explain the fact that academia is overwhelmingly white? Is that about impulse control? If so, how so?

    Your assertion:

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    I pose the question "How can delayed gratification not play a role in economics?"

    Edit - rather than further derail the thread I'll start a new post.
    edited September 18
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 806Member Member Posts: 806Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    Kind of to be expected. The prefrontal cortex starts coming online in a strong way around puberty. By 15, a lot of dietary restraint patterns are already going to be there.

    You also have to consider that last sentence is prefaced by:
    But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment

    So the factors they're using to diminish the correlation are also possible factors that foster delayed gratification - like I don't honestly understand how you remove the component cognitive ability from delayed gratification, I would consider delayed gratification a cognitive ability.
    From the NPR story,
    The vast majority of children in Mischel's study were able to delay gratification when they reframed their interpretations of the situation in front of them.

    The point of the marshmallow test was to show how flexible people are — how easily changed if they simply reinterpret the way they frame the situation around them. But that's not the moral that our culture drew from the marshmallow study. We decided that those traits in the preschoolers were fixed — that their self-control at age 4 determined their success throughout life.
    ...
    The marshmallow test became the poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that are stable and consistent. And this drives Walter Mischel crazy.

    "That iconic story is upside-down wrong," Mischel says. "That your future is in a marshmallow. Because it isn't."
    Note - these kids weren't 15 when they were told how to reframe their interpretation. Additionally, the article from The Atlantic also mentions the socioeconomic factors that can lead a child to choose the instant gratification route. Those, quite logically, are not about cognitive ability. Nor is home environment or family background.

    And of course, none of this has to do with the causes of educational, wealth, and health disparities (among other disparities that I can think of at 6:40am).

    One cherry picked article and case closed? Can you think of a situation which disproves your assertion?

    A statement closes the mind. A question opens the mind.

    Does sacrifice impact disparity? Of course. To say otherwise is an act of escape - of ego protection. Just as one blames their weight on metabolism or some other minor variable, weight is an output of behavior. Wealth, education, etc. all the same. The competing variables may change, but the core concept is identical. The issue with each is a misunderstanding of the subject.

    Over 79% of millionaires in the United States grew their wealth through the basic principle of sacrificing their present wants for future goals maintaining the simple concept of spending less that income.

    It is an interesting standard that one study doesn't dismiss one other other study, but you logically pontificating do, somehow, negate an empirical matter.

    I have absolutely no idea how you come up with that 79%. Spending less than you earn isn't a principle of sacrifice. That's some serious aggrandizing to say "well, he makes 200K a year, but he only lives on 100K, that's sacrifice."

  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    Kind of to be expected. The prefrontal cortex starts coming online in a strong way around puberty. By 15, a lot of dietary restraint patterns are already going to be there.

    You also have to consider that last sentence is prefaced by:
    But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment

    So the factors they're using to diminish the correlation are also possible factors that foster delayed gratification - like I don't honestly understand how you remove the component cognitive ability from delayed gratification, I would consider delayed gratification a cognitive ability.
    From the NPR story,
    The vast majority of children in Mischel's study were able to delay gratification when they reframed their interpretations of the situation in front of them.

    The point of the marshmallow test was to show how flexible people are — how easily changed if they simply reinterpret the way they frame the situation around them. But that's not the moral that our culture drew from the marshmallow study. We decided that those traits in the preschoolers were fixed — that their self-control at age 4 determined their success throughout life.
    ...
    The marshmallow test became the poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that are stable and consistent. And this drives Walter Mischel crazy.

    "That iconic story is upside-down wrong," Mischel says. "That your future is in a marshmallow. Because it isn't."
    Note - these kids weren't 15 when they were told how to reframe their interpretation. Additionally, the article from The Atlantic also mentions the socioeconomic factors that can lead a child to choose the instant gratification route. Those, quite logically, are not about cognitive ability. Nor is home environment or family background.

    And of course, none of this has to do with the causes of educational, wealth, and health disparities (among other disparities that I can think of at 6:40am).

    One cherry picked article and case closed? Can you think of a situation which disproves your assertion?

    A statement closes the mind. A question opens the mind.

    Does sacrifice impact disparity? Of course. To say otherwise is an act of escape - of ego protection. Just as one blames their weight on metabolism or some other minor variable, weight is an output of behavior. Wealth, education, etc. all the same. The competing variables may change, but the core concept is identical. The issue with each is a misunderstanding of the subject.

    Over 79% of millionaires in the United States grew their wealth through the basic principle of sacrificing their present wants for future goals maintaining the simple concept of spending less that income.

    It is an interesting standard that one study doesn't dismiss one other other study, but you logically pontificating do, somehow, negate an empirical matter.

    I have absolutely no idea how you come up with that 79%. Spending less than you earn isn't a principle of sacrifice. That's some serious aggrandizing to say "well, he makes 200K a year, but he only lives on 100K, that's sacrifice."

    A possible explanation. You have another, more accurate explanation?

    This originated from a study on millionaires and their activity - published in "Everyday Millionaires" by Chris Hogan. It dispels much of the misinformation on the wealthy just and MFP does on weight management.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 806Member Member Posts: 806Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    Kind of to be expected. The prefrontal cortex starts coming online in a strong way around puberty. By 15, a lot of dietary restraint patterns are already going to be there.

    You also have to consider that last sentence is prefaced by:
    But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment

    So the factors they're using to diminish the correlation are also possible factors that foster delayed gratification - like I don't honestly understand how you remove the component cognitive ability from delayed gratification, I would consider delayed gratification a cognitive ability.
    From the NPR story,
    The vast majority of children in Mischel's study were able to delay gratification when they reframed their interpretations of the situation in front of them.

    The point of the marshmallow test was to show how flexible people are — how easily changed if they simply reinterpret the way they frame the situation around them. But that's not the moral that our culture drew from the marshmallow study. We decided that those traits in the preschoolers were fixed — that their self-control at age 4 determined their success throughout life.
    ...
    The marshmallow test became the poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that are stable and consistent. And this drives Walter Mischel crazy.

    "That iconic story is upside-down wrong," Mischel says. "That your future is in a marshmallow. Because it isn't."
    Note - these kids weren't 15 when they were told how to reframe their interpretation. Additionally, the article from The Atlantic also mentions the socioeconomic factors that can lead a child to choose the instant gratification route. Those, quite logically, are not about cognitive ability. Nor is home environment or family background.

    And of course, none of this has to do with the causes of educational, wealth, and health disparities (among other disparities that I can think of at 6:40am).

    One cherry picked article and case closed? Can you think of a situation which disproves your assertion?

    A statement closes the mind. A question opens the mind.

    Does sacrifice impact disparity? Of course. To say otherwise is an act of escape - of ego protection. Just as one blames their weight on metabolism or some other minor variable, weight is an output of behavior. Wealth, education, etc. all the same. The competing variables may change, but the core concept is identical. The issue with each is a misunderstanding of the subject.

    Over 79% of millionaires in the United States grew their wealth through the basic principle of sacrificing their present wants for future goals maintaining the simple concept of spending less that income.

    It is an interesting standard that one study doesn't dismiss one other other study, but you logically pontificating do, somehow, negate an empirical matter.

    I have absolutely no idea how you come up with that 79%. Spending less than you earn isn't a principle of sacrifice. That's some serious aggrandizing to say "well, he makes 200K a year, but he only lives on 100K, that's sacrifice."

    A possible explanation. You have another, more accurate explanation?

    This originated from a study on millionaires and their activity - published in "Everyday Millionaires" by Chris Hogan. It dispels much of the misinformation on the wealthy just and MFP does on weight management.

    I don't know how it can be an explanation when it doesn't even have an explanation of what is meant by sacrifice because it seems a potentially very idiosyncratic use of the term, and rather than correcting misinformation, seems to be a semantics game to give a connotation to investment that sounds more noble than it is.

    I could as easily say 100% of millionaires derive their wealth via exploiting surplus value, be just as accurate, and it certainly doesn't sound nice. I'd also doubt you'd consider it myth dispelling.

    Regardless, I don't think it addresses what is meant by disparity. I don't want to put words in someone else's mouth, but I took it to be a kind of class disparity. To say that 79% of millionaires did X to become millionaires, therefore we can't say class disparity exists because you can just do X doesn't really work.
    Consider the counter example. 100% of Olympic athletes train hard. Therefore, genetics can't explain disparities in athletics. Do you agree with that reasoning?
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,981Member Member Posts: 2,981Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    Kind of to be expected. The prefrontal cortex starts coming online in a strong way around puberty. By 15, a lot of dietary restraint patterns are already going to be there.

    You also have to consider that last sentence is prefaced by:
    But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment

    So the factors they're using to diminish the correlation are also possible factors that foster delayed gratification - like I don't honestly understand how you remove the component cognitive ability from delayed gratification, I would consider delayed gratification a cognitive ability.
    From the NPR story,
    The vast majority of children in Mischel's study were able to delay gratification when they reframed their interpretations of the situation in front of them.

    The point of the marshmallow test was to show how flexible people are — how easily changed if they simply reinterpret the way they frame the situation around them. But that's not the moral that our culture drew from the marshmallow study. We decided that those traits in the preschoolers were fixed — that their self-control at age 4 determined their success throughout life.
    ...
    The marshmallow test became the poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that are stable and consistent. And this drives Walter Mischel crazy.

    "That iconic story is upside-down wrong," Mischel says. "That your future is in a marshmallow. Because it isn't."
    Note - these kids weren't 15 when they were told how to reframe their interpretation. Additionally, the article from The Atlantic also mentions the socioeconomic factors that can lead a child to choose the instant gratification route. Those, quite logically, are not about cognitive ability. Nor is home environment or family background.

    And of course, none of this has to do with the causes of educational, wealth, and health disparities (among other disparities that I can think of at 6:40am).

    One cherry picked article and case closed? Can you think of a situation which disproves your assertion?

    A statement closes the mind. A question opens the mind.

    Does sacrifice impact disparity? Of course. To say otherwise is an act of escape - of ego protection. Just as one blames their weight on metabolism or some other minor variable, weight is an output of behavior. Wealth, education, etc. all the same. The competing variables may change, but the core concept is identical. The issue with each is a misunderstanding of the subject.

    Over 79% of millionaires in the United States grew their wealth through the basic principle of sacrificing their present wants for future goals maintaining the simple concept of spending less that income.

    It is an interesting standard that one study doesn't dismiss one other other study, but you logically pontificating do, somehow, negate an empirical matter.

    I have absolutely no idea how you come up with that 79%. Spending less than you earn isn't a principle of sacrifice. That's some serious aggrandizing to say "well, he makes 200K a year, but he only lives on 100K, that's sacrifice."

    A possible explanation. You have another, more accurate explanation?

    This originated from a study on millionaires and their activity - published in "Everyday Millionaires" by Chris Hogan. It dispels much of the misinformation on the wealthy just and MFP does on weight management.

    I don't know how it can be an explanation when it doesn't even have an explanation of what is meant by sacrifice because it seems a potentially very idiosyncratic use of the term, and rather than correcting misinformation, seems to be a semantics game to give a connotation to investment that sounds more noble than it is.

    I could as easily say 100% of millionaires derive their wealth via exploiting surplus value, be just as accurate, and it certainly doesn't sound nice. I'd also doubt you'd consider it myth dispelling.

    Regardless, I don't think it addresses what is meant by disparity. I don't want to put words in someone else's mouth, but I took it to be a kind of class disparity. To say that 79% of millionaires did X to become millionaires, therefore we can't say class disparity exists because you can just do X doesn't really work.
    Consider the counter example. 100% of Olympic athletes train hard. Therefore, genetics can't explain disparities in athletics. Do you agree with that reasoning?

    I had been, trying to figure out what types of things CSARdiver meant when they said "disparities". Where they only talking about weight or where they talking about health (more broadly), educational, wealth, and other disparities. Eventually it became clear that they were talking about all types of disparities which is when I started disagreeing because how would one be able to say, equate self control to educational disparities?
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,159Member Member Posts: 12,159Member Member
    I’m going to stay out of the “dueling studies” specifics**, and speak to the underlying concepts as I see them, using (what I think of as ;) ) common sense, alongside a dangerous level of abstraction and over-generalization. Beware! (BTW: Common sense, even a gold-standard form, doesn’t trump the weight of cumulative hypothesis-reinforcing research, but it has a legit role IMO in interpreting that research.)

    I think there are three general ways that people progress, in terms of “economic, health, education, and wealth” (note that I didn’t add “disparities” to that quote).

    One is privilege, even completely merit-less privilege. Often the company founder’s kid succeeds in the company, regardless of merit. Sometimes, it’s privilege plus merit, but in this variant s/he has to contribute materially to the company, not merely be the founder’s kid. (I’d consider the latter more likely to be a successful company, all other things equal. ;) )

    A second is something that I sort of think of as “conveyor belts”. These are things that happen somewhat automatically, that we as individuals would have to assert ourselves, or screw ourselves up, in order to divert from.
    Some of you may see this as a form of privilege, but I think it’s at least a more specific sub-branch. (There can also be conveyor belts, in my sense of it, to very bad results.)

    Example: Back in the 1940s-50s (and before ;) ), women were supposed to get married, and have children. They would’ve had to have been serious rebels, or very unlucky, for that not to happen. It was near-universal, and hardly anyone questioned it. It was eccentric, possibly foolish, to do anything different. Personal example: My lower-middle-class blue-collar parents, who did not have college degrees, put me on a conveyor belt to go to college. It was going to happen, unless I did something very assertive (or stupid) to stop it. So it happened. It unquestionably led my life to be better economically, but I can’t claim to have done much to achieve it (willpower, discipline, deferred gratification, whatever) except to do what was expected and easiest in the moment. (That's a form of privilege, but not in the simplistic "rich family expecting me to carry on traditions" sense.)

    I feel like most people, most of the time, live on conveyor belts. Some of them arise from societal expectations, some from family circumstances, some from feeling compelled to emulate models (usually parents, but not always). These people are living out expectations; it doesn’t involve huge amounts of “will power” or explicit deferred gratification; it simply is more trouble, in the present, not to live it out, than to live it out: A path of relatively minimum resistance.

    Beyond that, I think things are a little more puzzling. Some people progress on paths through life, positive paths in fact, that are not a result of obvious, major privilege ****. In some cases, they don’t appear to be surrounded by conveyor belts that took them to where they have arrived. They had to behave disruptively, with respect to their immediate situation, to get where they are; they had to decide implicitly or explicitly to take a path of much higher than minimum resistance, and it wasn't necessarily an easy or uncomplicated path.

    I’d argue that this is where a set of other factors come in, and those may be what we’re digging at here. My position has been that some skills are involved, and skills can – at least in theory – be developed. I agree with Magnus (I think it was he) that “willpower” is non-explanatory.

    I do think that an ability to manage deferred gratification is one of the other factors that matters. (I base this is part on observing relative economic/social peers who do and don’t manage retirement planning well, among other personal situations I could mention). I think there’s some generalize-able aspect to managing deferred gratification – that doing it in one domain increases chances that a person can do it in another domain – so there may be something in Magnus’s idea about executive function and the prefrontal cortex. But it also appears in some cases to have domain-specific aspects. Maybe that’s just because certain immediate hedonic rewards are more appealing in particular situations to particular people, so overcome the long-term reward? Or maybe the skills/abilities around deferred gratification are also too much of an abstraction, so non-explanatory. I do think that in some sense deferring gratification is a skill that can be developed by exercising it.

    I don’t think that it (deferred gratification) is the only factor. I think there are other develop-able skills that are relevant. Some of them are things that I think of as applied project management skills, a kind of engineering-y ability to break a big goal down into smaller achievable steps, rather than being overwhelmed by its hugeness. Some things seem more psychological or emotional, but still in some sense skill based, like finding the rewards in micro-goals adequate and motivating when there really isn’t any big inherent reward until way downstream. I guess I’d argue that persistence and ability to take a long view (recognize that hyper-slow progress is progress, so worthwhile) are also skills, not “traits”.

    So, I think there’s something(s) that leads some people to take a positive path, that required picking a disruptive route (not a conveyor belt), then applying some of those skills and abilities. And I think that’s worth talking about and picking at, for reasons large (societal) and small (useful to me as in individual).

    Is it true that in some cases, no matter what an individual does or what skills they have or develop, some lack of privilege(s) and pure bad luck will prevent them achieving anything at all? That seeing lots of un-success around them discourages them from even making any attempt? Sure. Do I think that’s inherently blameful on their part, or a character fault? No.

    Taking this back to health and fitness (hah!), it seems that there are people who find a way to disrupt their course (toward increasing unfitness and obesity, say), and some who don’t. The reasons or mechanism behind this seem kind of important, since achieving those improvements in the first place (when it isn’t one’s lifelong “conveyor belt”) is a minority achievement, and retaining the improvements even more of a minority achievement.

    Do the same mechanisms have some role in large life accomplishments (who sticks with getting that associates degree one laborious and logistically difficult class at a time in night school, and eventually from that a better job and income, when a seemingly similarly situated person doesn’t start, or gives up, to pick out one case that I’ve seen in real life)? I don’t know. But I suspect there are some commonalities.

    ** I know I’m the one who introduced the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment to the thread. My intent was to shorthand an explanation of the kind of concepts it deals with, not to place it as a definitive star in the conceptual firmament. In particular, since I named it, I’m not sure why CSARdiver should need to defend it (unless he wants to 😉 ) . . . he may have something to defend in this thread, dunno, but it isn’t the SME IMO.

    **** I grant that if one takes “privilege” as broadly as it’s sometimes used in conversation these days, almost any useful precondition is a form of privilege. I’m not disputing that, but at some point I think one has to distinguish degrees and types of privilege, and think about their implications, or one gets to that silly place where no matter who one is, hard work, persistence, etc., always get you nowhere unless you have the right privilege(s), and that just doesn’t make sense to me. Perhaps that's my character fault, or one of them.

    Ugh, essay.

    tl;dr: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 17,066Member Member Posts: 17,066Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    Kind of to be expected. The prefrontal cortex starts coming online in a strong way around puberty. By 15, a lot of dietary restraint patterns are already going to be there.

    You also have to consider that last sentence is prefaced by:
    But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment

    So the factors they're using to diminish the correlation are also possible factors that foster delayed gratification - like I don't honestly understand how you remove the component cognitive ability from delayed gratification, I would consider delayed gratification a cognitive ability.
    From the NPR story,
    The vast majority of children in Mischel's study were able to delay gratification when they reframed their interpretations of the situation in front of them.

    The point of the marshmallow test was to show how flexible people are — how easily changed if they simply reinterpret the way they frame the situation around them. But that's not the moral that our culture drew from the marshmallow study. We decided that those traits in the preschoolers were fixed — that their self-control at age 4 determined their success throughout life.
    ...
    The marshmallow test became the poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that are stable and consistent. And this drives Walter Mischel crazy.

    "That iconic story is upside-down wrong," Mischel says. "That your future is in a marshmallow. Because it isn't."
    Note - these kids weren't 15 when they were told how to reframe their interpretation. Additionally, the article from The Atlantic also mentions the socioeconomic factors that can lead a child to choose the instant gratification route. Those, quite logically, are not about cognitive ability. Nor is home environment or family background.

    And of course, none of this has to do with the causes of educational, wealth, and health disparities (among other disparities that I can think of at 6:40am).

    One cherry picked article and case closed? Can you think of a situation which disproves your assertion?

    A statement closes the mind. A question opens the mind.

    Does sacrifice impact disparity? Of course. To say otherwise is an act of escape - of ego protection. Just as one blames their weight on metabolism or some other minor variable, weight is an output of behavior. Wealth, education, etc. all the same. The competing variables may change, but the core concept is identical. The issue with each is a misunderstanding of the subject.

    Over 79% of millionaires in the United States grew their wealth through the basic principle of sacrificing their present wants for future goals maintaining the simple concept of spending less that income.

    It is an interesting standard that one study doesn't dismiss one other other study, but you logically pontificating do, somehow, negate an empirical matter.

    I have absolutely no idea how you come up with that 79%. Spending less than you earn isn't a principle of sacrifice. That's some serious aggrandizing to say "well, he makes 200K a year, but he only lives on 100K, that's sacrifice."

    A possible explanation. You have another, more accurate explanation?

    This originated from a study on millionaires and their activity - published in "Everyday Millionaires" by Chris Hogan. It dispels much of the misinformation on the wealthy just and MFP does on weight management.

    I don't know how it can be an explanation when it doesn't even have an explanation of what is meant by sacrifice because it seems a potentially very idiosyncratic use of the term, and rather than correcting misinformation, seems to be a semantics game to give a connotation to investment that sounds more noble than it is.

    I could as easily say 100% of millionaires derive their wealth via exploiting surplus value, be just as accurate, and it certainly doesn't sound nice. I'd also doubt you'd consider it myth dispelling.

    Regardless, I don't think it addresses what is meant by disparity. I don't want to put words in someone else's mouth, but I took it to be a kind of class disparity. To say that 79% of millionaires did X to become millionaires, therefore we can't say class disparity exists because you can just do X doesn't really work.
    Consider the counter example. 100% of Olympic athletes train hard. Therefore, genetics can't explain disparities in athletics. Do you agree with that reasoning?

    I had been, trying to figure out what types of things CSARdiver meant when they said "disparities". Where they only talking about weight or where they talking about health (more broadly), educational, wealth, and other disparities. Eventually it became clear that they were talking about all types of disparities which is when I started disagreeing because how would one be able to say, equate self control to educational disparities?

    Donna prefers to have fun with video games rather than do her homework well, or at all sometimes - so her grades suffer.
    Tim prefers to joke around with his peers during school classes and misses a lot - so his grades suffer.

    Donna's parents prefer to watch TV or go out with friends or insert-list-of-other-hobbies most nights rather than dealing with hassle of helping her do homework.
    Tim's parents would rather not have difficult discussions with him about his class behavior. Few comments, that's it.
    Easier to just let things happen in either case.

    So some self-control there, pouring on over to self-sacrifice of the here and now for the future.

    But as grades suffer, educational opportunities suffer. Disparities occur.

    Now there's Don whose parents want him to have better than what they had, and the self-control to sacrifice their time now in order to give him better in the future helps him with his grades even when he's not thrilled to., and their sacrifice to have monetary means to do so goes along with their time.
    Doesn't guarantee it by any means since Don must have same thinking - but it makes it more possible than Donna & Tim.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,159Member Member Posts: 12,159Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    Kind of to be expected. The prefrontal cortex starts coming online in a strong way around puberty. By 15, a lot of dietary restraint patterns are already going to be there.

    You also have to consider that last sentence is prefaced by:
    But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment

    So the factors they're using to diminish the correlation are also possible factors that foster delayed gratification - like I don't honestly understand how you remove the component cognitive ability from delayed gratification, I would consider delayed gratification a cognitive ability.
    From the NPR story,
    The vast majority of children in Mischel's study were able to delay gratification when they reframed their interpretations of the situation in front of them.

    The point of the marshmallow test was to show how flexible people are — how easily changed if they simply reinterpret the way they frame the situation around them. But that's not the moral that our culture drew from the marshmallow study. We decided that those traits in the preschoolers were fixed — that their self-control at age 4 determined their success throughout life.
    ...
    The marshmallow test became the poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that are stable and consistent. And this drives Walter Mischel crazy.

    "That iconic story is upside-down wrong," Mischel says. "That your future is in a marshmallow. Because it isn't."
    Note - these kids weren't 15 when they were told how to reframe their interpretation. Additionally, the article from The Atlantic also mentions the socioeconomic factors that can lead a child to choose the instant gratification route. Those, quite logically, are not about cognitive ability. Nor is home environment or family background.

    And of course, none of this has to do with the causes of educational, wealth, and health disparities (among other disparities that I can think of at 6:40am).

    One cherry picked article and case closed? Can you think of a situation which disproves your assertion?

    A statement closes the mind. A question opens the mind.

    Does sacrifice impact disparity? Of course. To say otherwise is an act of escape - of ego protection. Just as one blames their weight on metabolism or some other minor variable, weight is an output of behavior. Wealth, education, etc. all the same. The competing variables may change, but the core concept is identical. The issue with each is a misunderstanding of the subject.

    Over 79% of millionaires in the United States grew their wealth through the basic principle of sacrificing their present wants for future goals maintaining the simple concept of spending less that income.


    Because I'm too lazy to read the book (and it's too late for me to become truly rich unless I really really get way less lazy, anyway): Is the stat that 79% of millionaires came from substantially less financially advantaged backgrounds than where they ended up? I know I read somewhere that a large fraction of current millionaires (don't know whether it was net worth or annual income) started in families of much more modest means, but I don't remember the details. Or is it more directly/literally a stat about sacrifice per se in some way, in your recollection?
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,094Member Member Posts: 6,094Member Member
    I appreciate the reference @AnnPT77 I'm not a tremendous fan of the marshmallow experiment, at least how this was executed. I do agree with the core concept as this is true in nearly every discipline of life.

    Regarding the conveyor belt analogy I've heard this discussed as an elevator, but like trust this takes a long time to build up and can be removed in a fraction of the time. Consider in our own lives if you are given a task and succeed, you are given more tasks with greater responsibility and greater reward. Over time you develop skills so that you can more effectively market skills and make greater use of time. To the contrary - fail in a task and this begins a terminal cascade of disaster. You lose trust with colleagues, lose opportunities, and eventually lose hope. Inevitably an output of behavior.

    Are there external forces beyond one's control - of course. Are there steps one can take to mitigate this? If not then there's no point. If one has no control, then there is no solution, which is where you find many people in a permanent state of depression and anxiety. Not because of reality, but due to their perception.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,981Member Member Posts: 2,981Member Member
    heybales wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    The ability to delay gratification may be the single greatest ability humans hold and the root cause of disparity. It requires knowledge of self and the environment. It requires not only seeing the immediate reward, but requires seeing the abstract potential of a greater reward at the risk of immediate suffering.

    By disparity I mean all inequality, or at least the vast majority of cases to the point all else becomes statistically insignificant. Those who manage weight do so due to through sacrificing present for future.
    Cut for brevity

    So I'm assuming you're not talking about things like economic, health, education, and wealth disparities right? If you are, then there's a lot more to it than the ability to delay gratification. In fact, the ability to delay one's gratification doesn't play a role.

    With regards to the marshmallow test, more recent research has shown that it's fairly flawed. There's an episode of Invisibilia from 2016 that discusses it which is how I first came across the idea that the results of the original study were likely flawed. Here are three articles about it in The Atlantic, The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine.

    Lastly, here's an abstract from a 2018 paper that replicated the 1990 study http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618761661 . Note the last sentence of the abstract, "Associations between delay time and measures of behavioral outcomes at age 15 were much smaller and rarely statistically significant."

    edit: the Invisibilia link is especially interesting because the person who ran the 1990 study is saying in part, "I said X and everyone ran with it and turned it into Y - it is not Y".
    Kind of to be expected. The prefrontal cortex starts coming online in a strong way around puberty. By 15, a lot of dietary restraint patterns are already going to be there.

    You also have to consider that last sentence is prefaced by:
    But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment

    So the factors they're using to diminish the correlation are also possible factors that foster delayed gratification - like I don't honestly understand how you remove the component cognitive ability from delayed gratification, I would consider delayed gratification a cognitive ability.
    From the NPR story,
    The vast majority of children in Mischel's study were able to delay gratification when they reframed their interpretations of the situation in front of them.

    The point of the marshmallow test was to show how flexible people are — how easily changed if they simply reinterpret the way they frame the situation around them. But that's not the moral that our culture drew from the marshmallow study. We decided that those traits in the preschoolers were fixed — that their self-control at age 4 determined their success throughout life.
    ...
    The marshmallow test became the poster child for the idea that there are specific personality traits that are stable and consistent. And this drives Walter Mischel crazy.

    "That iconic story is upside-down wrong," Mischel says. "That your future is in a marshmallow. Because it isn't."
    Note - these kids weren't 15 when they were told how to reframe their interpretation. Additionally, the article from The Atlantic also mentions the socioeconomic factors that can lead a child to choose the instant gratification route. Those, quite logically, are not about cognitive ability. Nor is home environment or family background.

    And of course, none of this has to do with the causes of educational, wealth, and health disparities (among other disparities that I can think of at 6:40am).

    One cherry picked article and case closed? Can you think of a situation which disproves your assertion?

    A statement closes the mind. A question opens the mind.

    Does sacrifice impact disparity? Of course. To say otherwise is an act of escape - of ego protection. Just as one blames their weight on metabolism or some other minor variable, weight is an output of behavior. Wealth, education, etc. all the same. The competing variables may change, but the core concept is identical. The issue with each is a misunderstanding of the subject.

    Over 79% of millionaires in the United States grew their wealth through the basic principle of sacrificing their present wants for future goals maintaining the simple concept of spending less that income.

    It is an interesting standard that one study doesn't dismiss one other other study, but you logically pontificating do, somehow, negate an empirical matter.

    I have absolutely no idea how you come up with that 79%. Spending less than you earn isn't a principle of sacrifice. That's some serious aggrandizing to say "well, he makes 200K a year, but he only lives on 100K, that's sacrifice."

    A possible explanation. You have another, more accurate explanation?

    This originated from a study on millionaires and their activity - published in "Everyday Millionaires" by Chris Hogan. It dispels much of the misinformation on the wealthy just and MFP does on weight management.

    I don't know how it can be an explanation when it doesn't even have an explanation of what is meant by sacrifice because it seems a potentially very idiosyncratic use of the term, and rather than correcting misinformation, seems to be a semantics game to give a connotation to investment that sounds more noble than it is.

    I could as easily say 100% of millionaires derive their wealth via exploiting surplus value, be just as accurate, and it certainly doesn't sound nice. I'd also doubt you'd consider it myth dispelling.

    Regardless, I don't think it addresses what is meant by disparity. I don't want to put words in someone else's mouth, but I took it to be a kind of class disparity. To say that 79% of millionaires did X to become millionaires, therefore we can't say class disparity exists because you can just do X doesn't really work.
    Consider the counter example. 100% of Olympic athletes train hard. Therefore, genetics can't explain disparities in athletics. Do you agree with that reasoning?

    I had been, trying to figure out what types of things CSARdiver meant when they said "disparities". Where they only talking about weight or where they talking about health (more broadly), educational, wealth, and other disparities. Eventually it became clear that they were talking about all types of disparities which is when I started disagreeing because how would one be able to say, equate self control to educational disparities?

    Donna prefers to have fun with video games rather than do her homework well, or at all sometimes - so her grades suffer.
    Tim prefers to joke around with his peers during school classes and misses a lot - so his grades suffer.

    Donna's parents prefer to watch TV or go out with friends or insert-list-of-other-hobbies most nights rather than dealing with hassle of helping her do homework.
    Tim's parents would rather not have difficult discussions with him about his class behavior. Few comments, that's it.
    Easier to just let things happen in either case.

    So some self-control there, pouring on over to self-sacrifice of the here and now for the future.

    But as grades suffer, educational opportunities suffer. Disparities occur.

    Now there's Don whose parents want him to have better than what they had, and the self-control to sacrifice their time now in order to give him better in the future helps him with his grades even when he's not thrilled to., and their sacrifice to have monetary means to do so goes along with their time.
    Doesn't guarantee it by any means since Don must have same thinking - but it makes it more possible than Donna & Tim.

    Disparities aren't just about one person though. They aren't about the ends of the bell curve, they're about large populations. Educational disparities occur when there are societal factors that disadvantage groups of people. If we take black students as an example, racism, black students being seen as "bad" or "unruly" more often than their white peers, teachers having lower expectations for black students (yes, there have been studies showing this to be the case), historically black students flat out being forbidden to colleges and universities, segregation, black students not being put in talented and gifted programs when their similar academic performing peers are, being the first person in their family to go to college (I think there are four people in the whole of my extended family who have gone to college, and that's not because people didn't work hard), who gets disciplined for the same behavior, the effects of not being acculturated into the type of learning that goes on in schools before actually reaching kindergarten - I could go on but I'll stop there.

    Instead of making up stories, here are multiple articles and websites for you from reputable sources:
    https://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/11/cover-inequality-school
    https://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/01/28/us-education-still-separate-and-unequal
    https://www.brookings.edu/articles/unequal-opportunity-race-and-education/
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/us/charlottesville-riots-black-students-schools.html
    edited September 18
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