Impulse and negative outlooks / by kevin murray

For mature and well balanced adults, when given a choice between some sort of immediate gratification, such as $10 today, as compared to $20 in one week; or a favorite snack right now, as compared to two of the same snack in thirty minutes, the determination of that choice is for those type of people, rather straightforward, for they clearly see the benefits of utilizing time to their advantage.  On the other hand, those that are lacking in good impulse control as well as those that within their mindset are suffering from a negative emotion such as sadness, or regret, or depression, are often going to give in to the immediate gratification, not necessarily because they truly believe that such is the better choice, but rather because it brings to them, an immediate reward, which they believe will make them feel better, right now.

 

So then, though one can give plenty of credit to those that are able to weigh different choices and values in a manner in which their decision makes logical sense and is overall beneficial for them -- as in all those that delay taking a certain portion of their salary today, in order to place instead some portion of their salary into a retirement account; it is important to recognize that one of the salient reasons why two people that appear to have similar circumstances, do come to diametrically different decisions, lies not only within their impulsiveness in general, but also within their mindset and viewpoint.

 

That is to say, those that are impulsive as well as those that consistently choose immediate gratification, aren't necessarily that way because they lack self-control, though they might, but rather it has a lot to do with their psyche and their outlook at that particular juncture in life.  For all those that have little or nothing, and are additionally use to having promises by others that they respect and look up to, broken, again and again, are also going to be the type of people that when given a choice between the proverbial "bird in the hand" as compared to "two in the bush" -- will have within their life experience a firm basis for the logical reasoning of the superiority of taking what they can take right now, as opposed to a promise of more that may well be broken.

 

All of the above really means that how our mind is wired most definitely affects our susceptibility to offers and temptations brought to our attention.  This is the reason why two people can watch the same commercial in which one person is completely tuned out, whereas another will be enticed by it.  In point of fact, a lot of advertising tries to appeal to the impulsive nature of our psyche, and especially focuses in on those that have vulnerabilities in which the advertisement pretty much is offering something in the here and now that will make things all better, which overrides the common sense of the person, which often intuitively recognizes that what is being promised today, seems really too good to be true, though they wish to believe that it is not.

 

It so follows that when it comes to self-control, those that have stable and secure lives are often going to have far more self-control, than those that come from dysfunctional families and stressful situations.    This signifies that where we come from in our personal situation, affects far more of who and what we are, than is often recognized, for often where our psyche is at, makes a substantial difference in the subsequent reasoning thereby made.