Multitasking Can Ruin Your Diet

December 13th, 2012 Comments Off

Recent research in psychology has determined that the ability to exercise self-control depends, in part, on the availability of a certain type of cognitive resource. Unfortunately for those trying to resist that tempting Hershey bar or to stop from snapping at a co-worker, there are lots of things that can bleed off these self-regulatory resources, leaving us with impaired self-control, at least in the short run. Kathleen Vohs, Anne-Laure Sellier, Tom Meyvis and I found that switching mindsets (or multi-tasking or wearing multiple hats throughout the day…) consumes this self-regulatory resource, impairing subsequent attempts at self-regulation.

Hamilton, Ryan, Kathleen Vohs, Anne-Laure Sellier & Tom Meyvis, (2011) “Being of Two Minds: Switching Mindsets Exhausts Self-Regulatory Resources,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 115 (May)

Press coverage:
Psychology Today
USA Today
CBS Radio News
Men’s Health

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