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Instant vs. Delayed Gratification

 

Explanations > Preferences > Instant vs. Delayed Gratification

Instant gratification | Delayed gratification | So what?

 

Do you want it all now or are you prepared to wait? Some people have a focus on present pleasures whilst others are happy to wait for the good bits.

Instant gratification

Those who seek instant gratification have a present focus. They are less able to control impulses and are more susceptible to temptation and possibly addiction. Given a dinner, they are more likely to eat the things the like best first rather than leave them until later.

To change the mind of someone who seeks instant gratification put temptation in their path. Have what they want now to hand and offer it in exchange for future commitment.

Delayed gratification

Those who are prepared to delay gratification will put off reward to a future date, enjoying the anticipated reward in the mean time. In this way they maximize their pleasure, combining the anticipation with the pleasure of the event itself (although exaggerated anticipation can lead to disappointment).

To change the minds of someone who delays gratification, show not only the future benefits but also talk about how great it will be looking forward to the event itself.

So what?

Understand how people delay (or not) taking of pleasures, then customize the way you persuade them using rewards now or promised in the future.

If they seek instant gratification and you want future change then offer them something now to gain commitment. If they delay gratification and you want them to do something now, show them how acting now will benefit them even more in the future.

See also

Delayed Gratification

 

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