Dividing items into small portions helps control consumption. Whether it’s food or money, people tend to go through things more slowly when the lump sum is partitioned into small portions, according to new research from a WUSTL marketing professor.
Photo courtesy of HerPlanet Inc.Avoid a holiday-shopping nightmare.Whether it’s a last-minute rush to the mall or a year-long obsession, the quest for the “perfect gift” has the potential to turn holiday shopping into an annual nightmare. A psychologist at Washington University in St. Louis who is an expert on helping people gain control of personal habits, such as smoking and overeating, says many of the same techniques can be used to get a grip on holiday shopping.
Tips for kicking the butts.The Great American Smokeout — the day each November the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to say “no thanks” to cigarettes for 24 hours — helps many people recognize how dangerous smoking is and how much they really want to quit, says a psychologist at Washington University in St. Louis who is an expert on helping people gain control of personal habits.
Photo by Joe Angeles/WUSTL PhotoAre gamblers impulsive?Why do people engage in behaviors they know are harmful to them in the long run? Why do we give in to that incredible chocolate cake even though we’re trying to lose weight and stay fit? The answer, suggests a recent study on the psychology of gambling and impulsive behavior, is a simple economic phenomenon known as discounting. While good health may be its own reward, research suggests that the value of that reward diminishes as it’s delayed; and the longer it’s delayed, the less it controls your present behavior. Although gamblers may deserve their reputations as notorious risk-takers, they often do better than non-gamblers at delaying gratification to maximize long-term rewards.