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Q&A: Behaviors, Causes, and Effects

Posted Oct 30 2012 12:00am

This is a list of questions I typed out while I was taking a break today. Then I wrote statements based on the Balance Model idea I’ve been posting about, and also some implications of those statements (a lot of them address the questions directly, but all the answers can be inferred). I was going to write it all out as an essay, but I decided to just post it as I wrote it. Let me know what you think. It’s all subject to (some) revisions.

Questions:

  •  Why is it so hard to maintain self-control?
  •  Why do people defy authority?
  •  Why do we want what we can’t have?
  •  Why do people lose their temper over trivial things?
  •  Why is forbidden fruit attractive?
  •  Why do people binge eat?
  •  Why do people procrastinate?
  •  Why are teens rebellious?
  • Why is reverse psychology effective?
  •  Why do freshmen gain weight?
  •  Why do college kids chug cheap beer?
  •  Why do repressive regimes have revolutions?
  •  Why do alcoholics binge drink when they go off the wagon?
  •  Why do guys have wild bachelor parties?

Answer:

Implications:

  • Forbidden fruit is desirable because it is a response to an imposed limitation
  • Adolescents are learning to be more independent and resist control
  • College students celebrate their independence by engaging in behavior that was restricted
  • A self-control task will negatively impact performance on subsequent control tasks to offset the imbalance
  • Decision-making is a perceived limitation since by choosing one thing you reject all other options
  • Diets that feel imposed (internally or externally) will fail
  • These principles can be applied to social systems as well as behavior
  • Explosive anger is restrained irritation finally triggered by a small event
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