In an experiment designed to measure willpower, researchers at the Technical University of Munich asked certain test subjects to reenact a scene from a popular movie in which a bullying father reprimands his son. During this reenactment, other subjects were asked to watch and took notes. They then asked the entire group to watch a funny clip from another movie without smiling or laughing. The subjects who portrayed the father were better at controlling their emotions than the rest of the group.
What’s the Big Idea?
Willpower is a finite, easily-depleted resource, and some people have more of it than others. However, it’s possible to increase willpower by imagining yourself in a position of power, say the researchers in a paper published in the online Journal of Personality. They go on to suggest that employers might take advantage of their workers’ underlying motivations by giving leadership positions to those who enjoy directing people, and creative, results-oriented positions to those who seek approval.
UCLA researcher Steve Horvath has come up with a way to measure the biological — rather than chronological — age of human organs, tissues and cells. His findings could lead to new ways to slow or even stop aging.