Psych150-Lecture25-4-18-2007 - PSYCHOLOGY 150 Professor...

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PSYCHOLOGY 150 Professor Ozlem Ayduk 4/18/07 Lecture 25 ASUC Lecture Notes Online (formerly Black Lightning) is the only authorized note-taking service at UC Berkeley. Please do not share, copy or illegally distribute these notes. Our non-profit, student-run program depends on your individual subscription for its continued existence. These notes are copyrighted by the University of California and are for your personal use only. Sharing or copying these notes is illegal and could end note taking for this course LECTURE Delayed Gratification in Working Situations. We have talked about delayed gratification in children as they passively wait to get their rewards. But most delayed gratification in real life does not involve passively waiting; we usually have to work for rewards in life. You do your work in school and get a larger reward of getting a degree later. So how do we delay gratification when we have to complete tasks to get a reward? Research with children had them complete 2 kinds of tasks, fun and boring tasks. In the fun task the kids had to feed a toy bird with marbles. This is something that 4-year-old kids find fun. In the other task they had to sort marbles by color. In both cases if they completed the task they got the 2 Oreos; if they stopped before completing, they only got one. So what helped or hindered their ability to delay gratification? The researchers looked at where the children directed attention. How much did the kids look at the reward as they performed the task? What was the attentional focus? Focusing on the reward was detrimental to kids who were passively waiting and for kids who were working for the reward doing a fun task. Why did looking at the Oreo cookies hurt in both cases? The key was whether it was fun or not. If they were engaged in the fun activity, the fun itself is a good distraction from the reward, so looking at it did not help. If they were engaged in a boring task, then a larger goal might help. Suppose you hate coming to lecture at 9 a.m. It’s boring but you want an A and a high GPA, which is a distant outcome. Does thinking of your distant goal make it easier or harder to come to class if you find it boring? It makes it easier. If the task is boring, you have to pay attention to the distant goal to get motivation to do the boring stuff. You remind yourself that you want an A and a degree. What they found was that the kids who finished the boring task to get the larger reward from time to time looked at the reward they were working towards, but they did not get fixated on it. Their eye gaze directions were coded and if they spent more than 5 seconds focusing on the reward it led to settling for the smaller reward. They would feel how much they wanted it and give in to their impulses.
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course PSYCH 150 taught by Professor Ayduk during the Spring '07 term at Berkeley.

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Psych150-Lecture25-4-18-2007 - PSYCHOLOGY 150 Professor...

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