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Willpower is depletable? Not so fast...

Very important reply to the question, "Is willpower depletable?" by Kat Li, who has an MA in psychology and gives a well-researched answer on Quora:

"Willpower is depletable only if you believe it to be so, is the message from Stanford psychology professors Carol Dweck and Greg Walton [1]. Though past research has shown that willpower is limited and dependent on a continuous stream of glucose, the story is more complex than that. 

Dweck, known for her groundbreaking research into the world of mindsets and achievement teamed with Walton, an expert in theory-based interventions to devise a set of experiments looking into willpower [2]. They found that beliefs about whether willpower is a limited resource affect performance on difficult tasks.

One of their studies examined beliefs that subjects held about ego depletion by asking them to rate how much they agreed with statements about it (i.e., "After a strenuous mental activity your energy is depleted and you must rest to get it refueled again.") Then, the subjects completed either easy, almost mindless tasks or a more complicated ask involving self-control. Following that, both groups completed a Stroop task, which is a standard measure of ego depletion. 

They found that subjects who believed that their energy could be depleted did perform worse on the Stroop task after having completed the more cognitively taxing task. However, participants who did not believe that energy was limited performed no differently in the Stroop task, regardless of whether they had done the easy task or the challenging task.

Musings on higher education

On Linus Rylander

I'm amusing myself thinking about how outrageously dumb the school system is.

You know how some superstars are constantly surrounded by yes-men, get their ass kissed 24/7?

Those people get disconnected from reality, and when that happens, it usually means the beginning of the end of their career. Because when you lose connection with reality, you also lose connection with what got you to the top in the first place.

School is like that. Except all of society is brainwashed.

Higher education doesn't matter anymore. I dropped out, and have gotten a 100 times more valuable education because of it. On my own time.

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