Too much self-control is dangerous

Posted on under Today's research

A fascinating study has thrown light on both animal and human behavior in situations where an unnatural amount of self-control was asked for.

Experiments with dogs have shown that when an individual has been put in a situation where an unnatural amount of self-control was required (‘self-control depletion’), that individual is more likely to indulge in risky behavior subsequently.

With dogs that self-control depletion may result from being asked to sit for long periods, in children—especially boys—it may be sitting still in class for a day (which has been shown to be a cause of ADHD), with an adult it may be working under tight conditions in a call center or being forced to work with someone you don’t get on with.