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