Media is harder to resist than other cravings

Researchers have found, in a study, that tweeting or checking e-mails may be harder to resist than cigarettes and alcohol.

The study, headed by Wilhelm Hofmann of Chicago University’s Booth Bussiness School, tried to mesure how well people could resist their desires. The experiment consist in gauge the willpower of 205 people, in ages between 18 and 85, using BlackBerrys.

The participants were signalled 7 times a day during 14 hours, for a week, so they could message back if they were experiencing a desire at that moment or had experienced one in last 30 minutes. They mesure the strenght, the type and if it conflicted with other desires. There were 10559 responses and 7827 “desire episodes” reported.

Twitter may be harder to resist than alcohol because giving in to the desire seems 'low cost', researchers said.

Hofmann explains that modern life is a welter of different desires. He says that sleep and leisure were the most problematic desires but they create a pervasive tension between natural inclinations to rest and the multitude of work and obligations. He explains that when it conflicts with socialising or leisure activities, working is difficult to resist because work can define the people’s identities, dictate many aspects of daily life and invoke penalties if important duties are shirked.

Resisting the desire to work was likewise prone to fail; but a interesting fact is that people were succesful at resisting sports inclinations, sexual urges and spending impulses, what seems surprising in modern culture.

Another desires, like adictions to tobacco, alcohol or coffee were relative low, apparently changing “the stereotype of addiction as driven by irresistibly strong desires”.

Hoffmann told The Guardian that desires for media are more difficult to resist because of their high availability and because it seems that it doesn’t cost much to participate in these activities. But, in fact, they steal a lot of people’s time.

The researcher told The Guardian that with cigarettes and alcohol is different, because there are more cost long-term and monetary.

Before the experiment, Hofmann explains people that using BlackBerrys did not count. Even people that really didn’t feel a desire to use them, beeped once in a while.

I taked this article from .

The original source is . We can see here the results of the experiment.

In my opinion, the modern society lives in a constant adiction to media. I agree with the arguments that Hofmann give us to explain it. But for me was surprising too that media was harder to resist than other cravings.

Estas entrada foi publicada en Ciencia (método), pensamento crítico, pseudociencia, Curso 2011-2012 coas etiquetas . Ligazón permanente.

One Response to Media is harder to resist than other cravings

  1. OK,
    – but you’d organize better the paragraphs, otherwise it excessively seems a list (there are too many of them). Start with a good introductory paragraph describing the context, the present situation of the problem. Then one or two paragraphs explaining the new information given. Lastly your opinion with the conclusion in. If you organize yourself with less paragraphaps, your opinion will be more prominent.

    – We can’t see the results in your link yet. If you had carefully read the article in The Guardian you’d have seen:
    ‘The results will soon be published in the journal Psychological Science’
    in the meantime, you can search for another paper by the same author as:
    and interesting article on chronic dieters who often violate their goals

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