Lead Us Not Into Temptation

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by Karen Topakian

According to a study published on Monday, August 3 by the Kellogg School of Management, “Research Shows Temptation More Powerful Than Individuals Realize.”  Isn’t that why they call it temptation? Because it produces urges that are difficult to control. Temptation’s middle name is seduction and enticement. We shouldn’t be surprised that we are powerless in its path.

The study showed that individuals displayed a “restraint bias” defined as when people “…miscalculate the amount of temptation they could truly handle, in turn leading to a greater likelihood of indulging impulsive or addictive behavior.”

We think we can control our urges when they are not in front of us. When we are in a “cold state.” But put the bottle of tequila, crack pipe or Louis Vuitton handbag in front of us and we start drinking, smoking and shopping.

Since we display a restraint bias, we frequently expose ourselves to temptation assuming we can resist it. But we can’t. It’s a vicious cycle that Mae West summed up best when she said, “I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.”

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