This post is a table of contents for finding the postings I’ve written over the years on the topic of pico-economics, i.e. George Ainslie’s model of what a horribly difficult time we have with impulse control.
- This posting explains how tremendously overvalue temptations that are closer v.s. further away; and how this annoys us. Experiments show it annoys even pigeons. Control of Appetite
- The competing interests in your head can be thought of as a gang consisting of each interest. They are caught in a kind of prisoner’s dilemma.
Ainslie enumerates a very short list of techniques for gaining rational control over your irrational selves. His name for this is intertemporal bargaining.
- The surprising one is the use of emotions to buttresses our defenses. He calls that preparation of emotion (never talking to her again!). similar
- but more rational, are long lived personal rules (never ever drink before 5pm),
- on a more moment to moment basis is the manipulation of attention (don’t look at her!)
- what we do outside our head, or extrapsychic commitments (e.g. moving to a dry town)