From time to time I read an article about the Baumeister cookies Vs Radish experiment.
the last time was about planking
The experiment goes as follow:
- In one early study, he brought subjects into a room filled with the
aroma of fresh-baked cookies. The table before them held a plate of the cookies
and a bowl of radishes. Some subjects were asked to sample the cookies, while
others were asked to eat the radishes. Afterward, they were given 30 minutes
to complete a difficult geometric puzzle. Baumeister and his colleagues found
that people who ate radishes (and resisted the enticing cookies) gave up on
the puzzle after about 8 minutes, while the lucky cookie-eaters persevered for
nearly 19 minutes, on average. Drawing on willpower to resist the cookies, it
seemed, drained the subjects’ self-control for subsequent situations
It's from 1998, and people still bring these up.
I was totally bafled by the result. 10 less minute of effort on average, that's huge.
But then it hit me. It prove Nothing about willpower.
If you propose radish when cookie are available, you're mean. No wonder people didnt want to do your stupid puzzle afterward.
And those who were treated with cookie would show their gratitude by trying harder on the puzzle. The study is irrelevant, with a bad procedure.
It only prove people reciprocate (no cookie = I wont work for you)
Why it come again, and again. I think it's because we want to hear that. We want to believe willpower is REALLY a limited resource we need to manage.
This way we can do less with a good justification.