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Resisting Unhealthy Temptations

Avoiding unhealthy foods like donuts might is easier with the right language a study suggests. Detailed in the Journal of Consumer Research, 120 students were tested on how well they resisted eating chocolate.

Those who said “I can’t eat X” chose to eat the bar 61% of the time, as opposed to 36% from those who said “I don’t eat X”. This research is based on the insight that the language we use to describe our choices serves as a feedback mechanism that either enhances or impedes our goal-directed behavior. Specifically, we investigate the influence of a linguistic element of self-talk, in which a refusal may be framed as “I don’t” (vs. “I can’t”), on resisting temptation and motivating goal-directed behavior. Source: Lifehacker

Have you tried this strategy before? How did it work for you?


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