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[Link] Bridging the Intention-Action Gap (aka Akrasia)

1 Post author: lifelonglearner 01 August 2017 10:31PM

Comments (7)

Comment author: CronoDAS 01 August 2017 11:23:11PM 1 point [-]

If I stopped procrastinating, when would I have time to play video games?

Comment author: Viliam 04 August 2017 01:26:26PM 0 points [-]

I started copying the relevant parts of the article, but... why exactly am I trying to do your homework?

Wouldn't it make more sense for one person who likes the article (and presumably has already read it) to find and copy the good parts, instead of hundred people having to go through dozens of pages, just to see if there is something new and important?

At least in my case, following links and reading long texts just because someone shared them without providing a summary, is a huge contributor to akrasia.

Comment author: lifelonglearner 04 August 2017 05:09:55PM 2 points [-]

Hey Villiam! I hope you're not feeling too frustrated by the link + short summary. Some additional context that might help:

I currently am trying to make a more coherent / readable synthesis of existing work on habits / stuff like this, and that's currently in the editing stage, so hopefully that'll be good for everyone. It just so happened that I bumped into this paper when I was researching stuff, and I found that it approximated a lot of my thoughts very well, so I thought I'd share it here as an interesting compilation before my content was ready.

Comment author: Viliam 04 August 2017 08:48:37PM 0 points [-]

Thank you, that would be great!

Comment author: lifelonglearner 01 August 2017 10:32:23PM 0 points [-]

[old link was broken, resubmitting]

Short summary: In the psychological literature, the "intention-behavior" gap is used to refer to instances where people want to do something...but don't get it done. (EX: People who know exercise is good for them but don't do it.) It also roughly parallels our LW formalization of akrasia.

I bumped into this paper when looking for additional research for Habits 101. I think it does a very good job of summarizing interventions to combat this at different stages in just a few pages (~9). Goal monitoring and implementation intentions (aka TAPs by CFAR) are mentioned.

There's also this very good graphic showing the different things you might want to try, depending on where you are in relation to your goal. Plus, the authors do reasonable things like acknowledge that ego depletion is on shaky ground when they mention willpower as a potential factor.

Here's another pretty sensibly cynical quote:

However, few people monitor their household energy consumption (Webb, Benn, & Chang, 2014), check their bank balances regularly, or keep track of what they are eating ( for a review, see Webb, Chang, & Benn, 2013). This motivated avoidance of progress monitoring is termed “The Ostrich Problem” and appears to be rooted in people’s desire to maintain favorable views of themselves and their standing with respect to the goal (Webb et al., 2013).

I really, really like this paper.

Comment author: HungryHippo 01 August 2017 11:52:50PM *  2 points [-]

I bumped into this paper when looking for additional research for Habits 101.

Are you by any chance familiar with the text book Self-Directed Behavior? It's basically psychology of habits 101.

Comment author: lifelonglearner 02 August 2017 12:40:18AM 0 points [-]

I haven't! I've only been looking at papers, not textbooks. Thanks so much for sharing!