Will power - an insight in to how it may work

I found this on a blog on the 'nets and hadn't seen it before:

Roy Baumeister set up an experiment where subjects were brought in to a room that smelled of fresh cookies.
Half the subjects were allowed to eat cookies laid out.
The other half could see all the tasty treats, but were told they weren't allowed to eat them and had to eat radishes instead.

They were then given a puzzle to complete, which was unsolvable.
Those that had eaten the radishes on average gave up on this problem in under half the time of those that got to eat the cookies.

Which suggests that our will power is a finite resource that we can 'use up'.
Or that 'clean living' really isn't as good as it's made out to be :P.


  • CristinaL1983
    CristinaL1983 Posts: 1,119 Member
    Another interesting study I read (and I cannot off the top of my head cite where I saw it)

    Each person was given a bowl of M&Ms (Everyone in this study liked M&Ms) 1 of the groups was told just to go ahead and eat them. The other group was told to imagine picking them up, putting them in their mouths, imagine the taste and feel. After this, the group was told to go ahead and eat them. The group who imagined eating them first ate half as many as the other group.

    Ever since I read that I have tried to imagine how something is going to taste before I eat it (especially if it is a dessert or very calorie dense food like cheese). I think I might eat less because it usually tastes better (in my head) before I actually take a bite. This has not worked very well for me with cheese though. I love cheese.