A study from a few years ago created a theory called The Energy Model of Self Control. This stated that willpower lessens as your brain lacks sugars, that it previously used for provious exertions. Basically, once you perform a task that requires motivation, you will have a harder time completing the following task that requires motivation, because you have used up the sugars that allow you motivate yourself.
Daniel Molden, a scientist from Nothwestern University, was skeptical of such claims. He recently recreated the study and used more technologically advanced machines, to measure the results. What he found was that the claim that once you perform a task that requires willpower, you will have a harder time to perform the following task that demands that same. He then challenged that “acts of self-control lower blood glucose levels.” After performing a self motivated task, volunteers rinse with either a sugar-water solution or an artificial sugar-water solution. In the previous research, subjects had to eat or drink sugar, to experience the effects. The results showed that participants that rinsed with the real sugar-water solution were able to motivate themselves for the next task, whereas volunteers that rinsed with what tasted like a sugar-water solution, but actually contained no sugar, were not able to self-motivate themselves. The results also showed that the sugar didn’t need to be metabolized, as the results were immediate. Molden and partners have concluded that the mouth can register the presence of carbohydrates in the solution and then signals the brain that energy is coming. The dopamine system motivates the brain to work harder. “In short, the sugar motivates — rather than fuels — willpower.” These scientists have decided that self-control is a lack of motivation, and can be restored with a simple sugar rinse.
Different things motivate different people, some people just need a goal and they’ll do whatever it takes to reach it. I myself am very bad at motivating myself todo work and have no self-control to see to it that I complete what needs to be done. For a person like me, this is very interesting, and something I will definitely try in the future! Will you try rinsing your mouth with sugar and water to keep yourself motivated?
Photo: CC Liscensed photo by Linuxerist