Archive for January 26th, 2016

January 26, 2016

Restraint Bias


Restraint bias is the tendency for people to overestimate their ability to control impulsive behavior. An inflated self-control belief may lead to greater exposure to temptation, and increased impulsiveness. Therefore, the restraint bias has bearing on addiction. For example, someone might experiment with drugs, simply because they believe they can resist any potential addiction. An individual’s inability to control, or their temptation can come from several different visceral impulses such as hunger, sexual arousal, and fatigue. These impulses provide information about the current state and behavior needed to keep the body satisfied.

The ‘Empathy Gap Effect’ deals with individuals having trouble appreciating the power that the impulse states have on their behavior. There is a cold-to-hot empathy gap that states when people are in a cold state, like not experiencing hunger, they tended to underestimate those influences in a hot state. The underestimation of the visceral impulses can be contributed to restricted memory for the visceral experience which means the individual can recall the impulsive state but cannot recreate the sensation of the impulsive state.

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