Resisting The Power of Temptations The Right Prefrontal Cortex and Self-Control

Most Intriguing Sentence (Via Kellog)

“Without this capacity, we would be slaves of our emotional impulses, temptations, and desires and thus unable to behave socially adequately.”

Abstract (Via Kellog)

Imagine you are overweight and you spot your favorite pastry in the storefront of a bakery. How do you manage to resist this temptation? Or to give other examples, how do you manage to restrain yourself from overspending or succumbing to sexual temptations? The present article summarizes two recent studies stressing the fundamental importance of inhibition in the process of decision making. Based on the results of these studies, we dare to claim that the capacity to resist temptation depends on the activity level of the right prefrontal cortex (PFC).

Introduction (Via Kellog)

The siren call of our impulses, desires, and urges often tempts us, and many of our decisions involve a conflict between our deliberate and our pleasure seeking sides. From the standpoint of adaptive self-regulation, an appropriate response to temptations involves exercising self-control.1–3 This conscious control of thought, action, and emotions may be considered as a distinctive feature of human cognition. Moreover, the ability to override immediate urges is not only relevant for adaptive individual decision making but also contributes to harmonious social interactions. For example, suppressing a desire to retaliate may be necessary to prevent the escalation of interpersonal conflict. Thus, our capacity to suppress the unlimited pursuit of immediate self-interest has been suggested to be a hallmark of civilized life.

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18. October 2009 by Miguel Barbosa
Categories: Curated Readings, Psychology & Sociology | Leave a comment

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