Control Impulses By Limiting Your Capacity

Control Impulses By Limiting Your Capacity

Whether it’s a wallet full of cash or a plate full or food, it’s often tempting to consume or use everything that is readily available, rather than taking only what you need.

Photo by J-Cornelius.

Trent Hamm at The Simple Dollar compares the concept to New York’s proposed large soft drink ban.

Let’s say you’re at a self-serve restaurant and you can get either a 16 ounce cup or a 32 ounce cup. If you take the larger cup, you only have to fill it once and take it to your table to consume 32 ounces of a sugary beverage. If you take the smaller cup, you can still consume 32 ounces easily, but halfway through you have to stop and make the active choice to get more soda.

It’s this active choice, Hamm claims, that can keep our impulses in check. The same concept could easily be translated to filling your first plate in a buffet line, or taking out cash at an ATM when you go to the markets. You could always get more food or take out more cash, but that speed bump makes self-moderation much easier.

New York’s Soda Ban and Your Money [The Simple Dollar]

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