This conversation with Roy F Baumeister comes from the RSA - Baumeister's most recent book, and the topic of this conversation, is Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength.
It's worth noting the Baumeister tends toward a very conservative perspective on many topics - and this is one where he does so rather obviously. Willpower has become a conservative political tool as well - a way to blame people for their failures without taking into account the full spectrum of issues that may lead to poverty or a life of crime.
Willpower is a very individualist ideal - but we are communal people embedded in a unique environment.
23rd Jan 2012Listen to the audio(full recording including audience Q&A)
RSA KeynoteIs improving your willpower the surest way to a better life?
A new understanding of how people control themselves has emerged from the past decade of research studies. Self-control depends on a limited energy supply, and each person's willpower fluctuates during the day as various events deplete and then replenish it.
The latest laboratory work reveals that decision making and creative initiative also deplete the same willpower supply, while eating and sleeping can restore it – to the extent that a life-changing decision may go in different directions depending on whether it’s made before or after lunch.
One of the world’s most esteemed psychologists, Roy F Baumeister visits the RSA to explain why willpower and self-control is one of the most important aspects of individual and societal well-being.
Chair: Matthew Taylor, chief executive, RSA