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Remembering Values

 

Techniques Willpower > Desisting > Remembering Values

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When you may be tempted to do something that you know is wrong, then before you reach the point of temptation, remind yourself of what is right and good.

One way of doing this is to write down the things that you believe you should do and not do. Another is to read a pre-existing set of values, particularly if you subscribe to this list.

Example

A Christian reads the Ten Commandments before going out to a football match, where there is temptation to join in rowdy affray.

Before a man goes out on a new date he writes down a list of how a man should behave with a woman, include being respectful, opening doors, being clean and so on.

An interviewer cannily first asks the interviewee 'Would you say you are an honest person?'.

Discussion

Through recency effect, people remember things that have happened more recently as these are now more available than alternative thoughts. By thinking about values, you bring them to the surface, so when you later need to comply with them, they have a greater effect on your conscience.

In research, it has been found that when people are put in a situation of temptation, such being able to cheating in a test without being caught (or so they think), that getting them to read a list of values beforehand significantly reduced the cheating. 

See also

Values

 

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