The famous marshmallow experiment showed that children who showed self-restraint went on to do better in their lives. But, what if people who look like they are resisting the temptation are not actually feeling the temptation that strongly in the first place.
If resisting temptation is a virtue, then more resistance should lead to greater achievement, right? That’s not what the results, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, found.
The students who exerted more self-control were not more successful in accomplishing their goals. It was the students who experienced fewer temptations overall who were more successful when the researchers checked back in at the end of the semester. What’s more, the people who exercised more effortful self-control also reported feeling more depleted. So not only were they not meeting their goals, they were also exhausted from trying.