Delayed gratification and the quest to bridge the person-situation debate

Are we born with self-control? Or does context change our behavior?

  • 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.
Satria SP / Unsplash
Politics & Current Affairs

Reading, studies show, increases empathy and charitable thinking. Fiction has even been credited with helping readers improve their understanding of others and make changes in their own lives.

Keep reading

Revealed: Dutch are least hygienic Europeans

Half of Holland does not wash hands after going to the bathroom. The Bosnians are the cleanest Europeans. 

Culture & Religion

Fifteen October is Global Handwashing Day. By which we don't mean: wait until then to lather up your paws. Now that would be counterproductive! Because unwashed hands spread diseases – often deadly diseases. 

Keep reading

We can improve politics in America. Here’s how.

Here's how to have a healthier relationship with politics.

Videos
  • "[T]he single healthiest thing most of us can do for our relationship with politics and for politics would be to deemphasize our connection to national politics and reemphasize our connection to state and local politics," says Ezra Klein.
  • The media has become overwhelmingly nationalized. To improve your relationship with politics, and to improve politics in general, be intentional about your informational ecosystem.
  • Klein recommends reconstructing your news diet so it doesn't overwhelmingly feature national politics, rather sign up for local newsletters, subscribe to your local paper, and get involved in community politics rather than yelling at cable TV or lashing out on Twitter.
Keep reading