Delayed gratification and the quest to bridge the person-situation debate
Are we born with self-control? Or does context change our behavior?
David Epstein is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Range: Why Generalist Triumph in a Specialized World and The Sports Gene. He has master's degrees in environmental science and journalism and has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. He lives in Washington, DC.
- Are behaviors innate, or are they shaped by our surroundings?
- David Epstein poses this question as he examines the person-situation debate through the lens of the famed marshmallow test, an experiment in the self-control of children.
- Simple strategies can be taught to help delay gratification, which suggests our personality traits can undergo change depending on context.
- Why Speaking Two Languages Improves Self-Control - Big Think ›
- Self control and self discipline lead to happiness? - Big Think ›
When it comes to foreign intervention, we often overlook the practices that creep into life back home.
- Methods used in foreign intervention often resurface domestically, whether that's in the form of skills or technology.
- University of Tampa professor Abigail Blanco calls this the boomerang effect. It's a consequence not often thought about when we discuss foreign intervention.
- The three channels to consider when examining the boomerang effect include human capital in the form of skills, administrative dynamics, and physical capital in the form of tools and technology.
Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love my tsundoku.
- Many readers buy books with every intention of reading them only to let them linger on the shelf.
- Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb believes surrounding ourselves with unread books enriches our lives as they remind us of all we don't know.
- The Japanese call this practice tsundoku, and it may provide lasting benefits.
Scientists used CT scanning and 3D-printing technology to recreate the voice of Nesyamun, an ancient Egyptian priest.
- Scientists printed a 3D replica of the vocal tract of Nesyamun, an Egyptian priest whose mummified corpse has been on display in the UK for two centuries.
- With the help of an electronic device, the reproduced voice is able to "speak" a vowel noise.
- The team behind the "Voices of the Past" project suggest reproducing ancient voices could make museum experiences more dynamic.