Monday, July 23, 2007

been there, done that.

People often behave as if they possess multiple selves with different, competing interests.


The want-self is myopic and desires instant gratification.

If left to its own devices, the want-self would always act on immediate, visceral desires (e.g., spending instead of saving money, eating junk food instead of health food).

The should-self, on the other hand, prefers to behave in a way that will maximize long-run benefits.

If left to its own devices, the should-self would always act on behalf of an individual's long-term best interests (e.g., saving money or donating it to a good cause instead of spending frivolously, eating health food instead of junk food).

Understanding the 'Want' vs. 'Should' Decision in the 16 July issue of Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge.

1 comment:

anniemcq said...

the want self is very much taking hold of my six year old. Unfortunately, it grabs hold of his Daddy too, from time to time, thereby filling our house with instruments and kilts.

Being raised a Lutheran, my should self is employed more often, but when the want self is let out of the bag, well, it's just a lot more fun.

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