From the author:
Laziness or hyperbolic tee?
The online edition of the American magazine The Atlantic reported earlier this year on the phenomenon of the seasonally increasing and decreasing flow of visitors in fitness studios - and the lessening of enthusiasm in the summer.
"You might call this behavior 'laziness'. Economists prefer the term 'hyperbolic', "Derek Thompson said in The Atlantic.
Why addicts can remain addicted and governments can not save
Behind this is the theory that humans can relatively easily motivate themselves if an immediate gratification beckons, but for this reason, rewards in the distant future are regarded as less attractive.
"The hyperbolic discount helps explain why Parliament can not make savings, why drug addicts are addicted, why debtors do not pay their bills, and why we always think the best day for our sports program is 'tomorrow'" Thompson says.
Tee instead of instant gratification
So if we can not have something right away, we feel we have to accept a "discount". Unfortunately, this is also true when it comes to our well-being and our health, as in the case of the gym visit.
But is it so bad if we do not want to wait? After all, we have outgrown the childhood and seem to know what is good for us. Our living conditions also help us to satisfy our needs.
Satisfaction with addiction potential
And when we "put our immediate gratification" behind us, we also saved time and can therefore productively turn to other things. Or?
The stupid part of the fast gratification is, among other things, that we get used very quickly to the feeling of reward. As with drug use, we have to take the next dose even earlier, and it is best to take it even higher to achieve an effect.
Anticipation is important for personality development
And actually, we also know that the moment of fulfilling a wish is usually less spectacular than waiting for it. In the search for immediate gratification, there is also the danger that a stale feeling will remain when we deprive ourselves of the time of joyful expectation.
Science assumes that anticipation is important for our well-being and even for personality formation. It is clear that anyone who is allowed to experience anticipation is more satisfied and more positive.
First the work, then the reward
Those who find it easier to get up, because he has something to look forward to, rather go to work and do even unpleasant tasks with more enthusiasm. Till Raether, editor of Zeit-Magazin, describes the function of anticipation so: "Our brain feeds on anticipation. It serves him to train all sorts of positive abilities. (...) Through our ability to anticipate, we may train the areas of reward in the brain: those who are excited, learn to experience joy more intensely. There are brain researchers who suspect that there is a connection between the ability to feel anticipation and a general sense of life. "
Greed prevents wise decisions
Not least, we all know that the "now immediate" greed restricts our ability to make rational and wise decisions. In the heat of the moment we are not planning for the future, but actually not at all.
In this way mistakes are made, which sometimes cost us a lot.
Our business system is based on instant gratification
Sure, a considerable part of our economic system is based on immediate gratification. If it were not, credit cards and financing would not make much money.
Maybe we would do well to let the child wait a bit and give the anticipation a chance. It can teach us to become wiser and motivate ourselves again and again. And last but not least, it can bring us a whole lot of fun.
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