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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Is changing your lifestyle fun?

"According to the authors, approximately one in five U.S. citizens over the age of 12 admits to binge drinking at least once per month, and nearly 10 million people suffer from clinical eating disorders. These epidemics make it critical to examine what can be done to encourage people to regulate consumption.

In one study, the researchers asked participants to hold pieces of candy between their fingers, and put it in their mouths and then take it out. "The goal of this task was to let people perform tasks with the candy but not be able to actually eat the candy," the authors explain.

Once the participants completed the initial tasks they moved on to taking unrelated surveys. But the candy was left on their desks without instruction as to whether they could eat it or not. The researchers measured how much candy the participants consumed and measured how much self-control the participants usually exerted.

"We found that participants who are usually high in self-control perceived the initial candy task - which involved touching, but not eating Skittles and M&Ms - as an opportunity to have fun (they were playing with candy)," - "Participants who are usually low in self-control, however, perceived the initial candy task as an obligation to work."





The study could also highlight people's motivation to change, those that see therapy and changing their lifestyle as work are likely to be less motivated to make the changes than those that view the changes to their lifestyle, and their therapy, as fun.

Wording of techniques or exercises could make the difference between an individual feeling like their therapy is all hard work and an individual feeling that therapy is fun!

Link to Article

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