Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Decision Fatigue: Fact or Perception?

Sunday's New York Times Magazine featured this article* [*this link is inconsistent and sometimes directs to NYT sign-in page; if it doesn't display the article, see the text below questions] about the effects of decision-making and it got me thinking about how students take exams. I read a little deeper and began to think that ego depletion may have physical foundations; then I read this Stanford study and found myself wondering whether decision fatigue is really in our heads, or whether it's all in our heads, if you know what I mean. When you add modern technology and the concept of multi-tasking (courtesy of this article, which I learned about through a link on boingboing.net), 21st century concentration becomes a rather complex topic. Comment to this post with answers to the following four questions:

1. Based on your personal experience, these readings and our in-class study, do you think decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy (i.e., an outcome created by an expectation of the outcome) or a physiological condition? Is technology enabling you to achieve your goals or just distracting you from them? Make sure to support your ideas with reasons/evidence (one point from each article, and at least one point from your own experience.
2. On a scale from 1-10 (1 being least able and 10 being most able), how able are you to concentrate for long periods of time on tasks you don't really want to do in the first place?
3. Are you prepared for the possibility that you may be able to concentrate much more effectively than you previously believed?
4. How can you use what you've learned to increase your capacity for concentrating over an extended period of time?


Text OF NY Times article:

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?
Published: August 17, 2011

Three men doing time in Israeli prisons recently appeared before a parole board consisting of a judge, a criminologist and a social worker. The three prisoners had completed at least two-thirds of their sentences, but the parole board granted freedom to only one of them. Guess which one:

Case 1 (heard at 8:50 a.m.): An Arab Israeli serving a 30-month sentence for fraud.

Case 2 (heard at 3:10 p.m.): A Jewish Israeli serving a 16-month sentence for assault.

Case 3 (heard at 4:25 p.m.): An Arab Israeli serving a 30-month sentence for fraud.

There was a pattern to the parole board’s decisions, but it wasn’t related to the men’s ethnic backgrounds, crimes or sentences. It was all about timing, as researchers discovered by analyzing more than 1,100 decisions over the course of a year. Judges, who would hear the prisoners’ appeals and then get advice from the other members of the board, approved parole in about a third of the cases, but the probability of being paroled fluctuated wildly throughout the day. Prisoners who appeared early in the morning received parole about 70 percent of the time, while those who appeared late in the day were paroled less than 10 percent of the time.

The odds favored the prisoner who appeared at 8:50 a.m. — and he did in fact receive parole. But even though the other Arab Israeli prisoner was serving the same sentence for the same crime — fraud — the odds were against him when he appeared (on a different day) at 4:25 in the afternoon. He was denied parole, as was the Jewish Israeli prisoner at 3:10 p.m, whose sentence was shorter than that of the man who was released. They were just asking for parole at the wrong time of day.

There was nothing malicious or even unusual about the judges’ behavior, which was reported earlier this year by Jonathan Levav of Stanford and Shai Danziger of Ben-Gurion University. The judges’ erratic judgment was due to the occupational hazard of being, as George W. Bush once put it, “the decider.” The mental work of ruling on case after case, whatever the individual merits, wore them down. This sort of decision fatigue can make quarterbacks prone to dubious choices late in the game and C.F.O.’s prone to disastrous dalliances late in the evening. It routinely warps the judgment of everyone, executive and nonexecutive, rich and poor — in fact, it can take a special toll on the poor. Yet few people are even aware of it, and researchers are only beginning to understand why it happens and how to counteract it.

Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware of being tired — but you’re low on mental energy. The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. (Sure, tweet that photo! What could go wrong?) The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice. Ducking a decision often creates bigger problems in the long run, but for the moment, it eases the mental strain. You start to resist any change, any potentially risky move — like releasing a prisoner who might commit a crime. So the fatigued judge on a parole board takes the easy way out, and the prisoner keeps doing time.

Decision fatigue is the newest discovery involving a phenomenon called ego depletion, a term coined by the social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister in homage to a Freudian hypothesis. Freud speculated that the self, or ego, depended on mental activities involving the transfer of energy. He was vague about the details, though, and quite wrong about some of them (like his idea that artists “sublimate” sexual energy into their work, which would imply that adultery should be especially rare at artists’ colonies). Freud’s energy model of the self was generally ignored until the end of the century, when Baumeister began studying mental discipline in a series of experiments, first at Case Western and then at Florida State University.

These experiments demonstrated that there is a finite store of mental energy for exerting self-control. When people fended off the temptation to scarf down M&M’s or freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies, they were then less able to resist other temptations. When they forced themselves to remain stoic during a tearjerker movie, afterward they gave up more quickly on lab tasks requiring self-discipline, like working on a geometry puzzle or squeezing a hand-grip exerciser. Willpower turned out to be more than a folk concept or a metaphor. It really was a form of mental energy that could be exhausted. The experiments confirmed the 19th-century notion of willpower being like a muscle that was fatigued with use, a force that could be conserved by avoiding temptation. To study the process of ego depletion, researchers concentrated initially on acts involving self-control ­— the kind of self-discipline popularly associated with willpower, like resisting a bowl of ice cream. They weren’t concerned with routine decision-making, like choosing between chocolate and vanilla, a mental process that they assumed was quite distinct and much less strenuous. Intuitively, the chocolate-vanilla choice didn’t appear to require willpower.

But then a postdoctoral fellow, Jean Twenge, started working at Baumeister’s laboratory right after planning her wedding. As Twenge studied the results of the lab’s ego-depletion experiments, she remembered how exhausted she felt the evening she and her fiancé went through the ritual of registering for gifts. Did they want plain white china or something with a pattern? Which brand of knives? How many towels? What kind of sheets? Precisely how many threads per square inch?

“By the end, you could have talked me into anything,” Twenge told her new colleagues. The symptoms sounded familiar to them too, and gave them an idea. A nearby department store was holding a going-out-of-business sale, so researchers from the lab went off to fill their car trunks with simple products — not exactly wedding-quality gifts, but sufficiently appealing to interest college students. When they came to the lab, the students were told they would get to keep one item at the end of the experiment, but first they had to make a series of choices. Would they prefer a pen or a candle? A vanilla-scented candle or an almond-scented one? A candle or a T-shirt? A black T-shirt or a red T-shirt? A control group, meanwhile — let’s call them the nondeciders — spent an equally long period contemplating all these same products without having to make any choices. They were asked just to give their opinion of each product and report how often they had used such a product in the last six months.

Afterward, all the participants were given one of the classic tests of self-control: holding your hand in ice water for as long as you can. The impulse is to pull your hand out, so self-discipline is needed to keep the hand underwater. The deciders gave up much faster; they lasted 28 seconds, less than half the 67-second average of the nondeciders. Making all those choices had apparently sapped their willpower, and it wasn’t an isolated effect. It was confirmed in other experiments testing students after they went through exercises like choosing courses from the college catalog.

For a real-world test of their theory, the lab’s researchers went into that great modern arena of decision making: the suburban mall. They interviewed shoppers about their experiences in the stores that day and then asked them to solve some simple arithmetic problems. The researchers politely asked them to do as many as possible but said they could quit at any time. Sure enough, the shoppers who had already made the most decisions in the stores gave up the quickest on the math problems. When you shop till you drop, your willpower drops, too.

Any decision, whether it’s what pants to buy or whether to start a war, can be broken down into what psychologists call the Rubicon model of action phases, in honor of the river that separated Italy from the Roman province of Gaul. When Caesar reached it in 49 B.C., on his way home after conquering the Gauls, he knew that a general returning to Rome was forbidden to take his legions across the river with him, lest it be considered an invasion of Rome. Waiting on the Gaul side of the river, he was in the “predecisional phase” as he contemplated the risks and benefits of starting a civil war. Then he stopped calculating and crossed the Rubicon, reaching the “postdecisional phase,” which Caesar defined much more felicitously: “The die is cast.”

The whole process could deplete anyone’s willpower, but which phase of the decision-making process was most fatiguing? To find out, Kathleen Vohs, a former colleague of Baumeister’s now at the University of Minnesota, performed an experiment using the self-service Web site of Dell Computers. One group in the experiment carefully studied the advantages and disadvantages of various features available for a computer — the type of screen, the size of the hard drive, etc. — without actually making a final decision on which ones to choose. A second group was given a list of predetermined specifications and told to configure a computer by going through the laborious, step-by-step process of locating the specified features among the arrays of options and then clicking on the right ones. The purpose of this was to duplicate everything that happens in the postdecisional phase, when the choice is implemented. The third group had to figure out for themselves which features they wanted on their computers and go through the process of choosing them; they didn’t simply ponder options (like the first group) or implement others’ choices (like the second group). They had to cast the die, and that turned out to be the most fatiguing task of all. When self-control was measured, they were the one who were most depleted, by far.

The experiment showed that crossing the Rubicon is more tiring than anything that happens on either bank — more mentally fatiguing than sitting on the Gaul side contemplating your options or marching on Rome once you’ve crossed. As a result, someone without Caesar’s willpower is liable to stay put. To a fatigued judge, denying parole seems like the easier call not only because it preserves the status quo and eliminates the risk of a parolee going on a crime spree but also because it leaves more options open: the judge retains the option of paroling the prisoner at a future date without sacrificing the option of keeping him securely in prison right now. Part of the resistance against making decisions comes from our fear of giving up options. The word “decide” shares an etymological root with “homicide,” the Latin word “caedere,” meaning “to cut down” or “to kill,” and that loss looms especially large when decision fatigue sets in.

Once you’re mentally depleted, you become reluctant to make trade-offs, which involve a particularly advanced and taxing form of decision making. In the rest of the animal kingdom, there aren’t a lot of protracted negotiations between predators and prey. To compromise is a complex human ability and therefore one of the first to decline when willpower is depleted. You become what researchers call a cognitive miser, hoarding your energy. If you’re shopping, you’re liable to look at only one dimension, like price: just give me the cheapest. Or you indulge yourself by looking at quality: I want the very best (an especially easy strategy if someone else is paying). Decision fatigue leaves you vulnerable to marketers who know how to time their sales, as Jonathan Levav, the Stanford professor, demonstrated in experiments involving tailored suits and new cars.

The idea for these experiments also happened to come in the preparations for a wedding, a ritual that seems to be the decision-fatigue equivalent of Hell Week. At his fiancée’s suggestion, Levav visited a tailor to have a bespoke suit made and began going through the choices of fabric, type of lining and style of buttons, lapels, cuffs and so forth.

“By the time I got through the third pile of fabric swatches, I wanted to kill myself,” Levav recalls. “I couldn’t tell the choices apart anymore. After a while my only response to the tailor became ‘What do you recommend?’ I just couldn’t take it.”

Levav ended up not buying any kind of bespoke suit (the $2,000 price made that decision easy enough), but he put the experience to use in a pair of experiments conducted with Mark Heitmann, then at Christian-Albrechts University in Germany; Andreas Herrmann, at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland; and Sheena Iyengar, of Columbia. One involved asking M.B.A. students in Switzerland to choose a bespoke suit; the other was conducted at German car dealerships, where customers ordered options for their new sedans. The car buyers — and these were real customers spending their own money — had to choose, for instance, among 4 styles of gearshift knobs, 13 kinds of wheel rims, 25 configurations of the engine and gearbox and a palette of 56 colors for the interior.

As they started picking features, customers would carefully weigh the choices, but as decision fatigue set in, they would start settling for whatever the default option was. And the more tough choices they encountered early in the process — like going through those 56 colors to choose the precise shade of gray or brown — the quicker people became fatigued and settled for the path of least resistance by taking the default option. By manipulating the order of the car buyers’ choices, the researchers found that the customers would end up settling for different kinds of options, and the average difference totaled more than 1,500 euros per car (about $2,000 at the time). Whether the customers paid a little extra for fancy wheel rims or a lot extra for a more powerful engine depended on when the choice was offered and how much willpower was left in the customer.

Similar results were found in the experiment with custom-made suits: once decision fatigue set in, people tended to settle for the recommended option. When they were confronted early on with the toughest decisions — the ones with the most options, like the 100 fabrics for the suit — they became fatigued more quickly and also reported enjoying the shopping experience less.

Shopping can be especially tiring for the poor, who have to struggle continually with trade-offs. Most of us in America won’t spend a lot of time agonizing over whether we can afford to buy soap, but it can be a depleting choice in rural India. Dean Spears, an economist at Princeton, offered people in 20 villages in Rajasthan in northwestern India the chance to buy a couple of bars of brand-name soap for the equivalent of less than 20 cents. It was a steep discount off the regular price, yet even that sum was a strain for the people in the 10 poorest villages. Whether or not they bought the soap, the act of making the decision left them with less willpower, as measured afterward in a test of how long they could squeeze a hand grip. In the slightly more affluent villages, people’s willpower wasn’t affected significantly. Because they had more money, they didn’t have to spend as much effort weighing the merits of the soap versus, say, food or medicine.

Spears and other researchers argue that this sort of decision fatigue is a major — and hitherto ignored — factor in trapping people in poverty. Because their financial situation forces them to make so many trade-offs, they have less willpower to devote to school, work and other activities that might get them into the middle class. It’s hard to know exactly how important this factor is, but there’s no doubt that willpower is a special problem for poor people. Study after study has shown that low self-control correlates with low income as well as with a host of other problems, including poor achievement in school, divorce, crime, alcoholism and poor health. Lapses in self-control have led to the notion of the “undeserving poor” — epitomized by the image of the welfare mom using food stamps to buy junk food — but Spears urges sympathy for someone who makes decisions all day on a tight budget. In one study, he found that when the poor and the rich go shopping, the poor are much more likely to eat during the shopping trip. This might seem like confirmation of their weak character — after all, they could presumably save money and improve their nutrition by eating meals at home instead of buying ready-to-eat snacks like Cinnabons, which contribute to the higher rate of obesity among the poor. But if a trip to the supermarket induces more decision fatigue in the poor than in the rich — because each purchase requires more mental trade-offs — by the time they reach the cash register, they’ll have less willpower left to resist the Mars bars and Skittles. Not for nothing are these items called impulse purchases.

And this isn’t the only reason that sweet snacks are featured prominently at the cash register, just when shoppers are depleted after all their decisions in the aisles. With their willpower reduced, they’re more likely to yield to any kind of temptation, but they’re especially vulnerable to candy and soda and anything else offering a quick hit of sugar. While supermarkets figured this out a long time ago, only recently did researchers discover why.

The discovery was an accident resulting from a failed experiment at Baumeister’s lab. The researchers set out to test something called the Mardi Gras theory — the notion that you could build up willpower by first indulging yourself in pleasure, the way Mardi Gras feasters do just before the rigors of Lent. In place of a Fat Tuesday breakfast, the chefs in the lab at Florida State whipped up lusciously thick milkshakes for a group of subjects who were resting in between two laboratory tasks requiring willpower. Sure enough, the delicious shakes seemed to strengthen willpower by helping people perform better than expected on the next task. So far, so good. But the experiment also included a control group of people who were fed a tasteless concoction of low-fat dairy glop. It provided them with no pleasure, yet it produced similar improvements in self-control. The Mardi Gras theory looked wrong. Besides tragically removing an excuse for romping down the streets of New Orleans, the result was embarrassing for the researchers. Matthew Gailliot, the graduate student who ran the study, stood looking down at his shoes as he told Baumeister about the fiasco.

Baumeister tried to be optimistic. Maybe the study wasn’t a failure. Something had happened, after all. Even the tasteless glop had done the job, but how? If it wasn’t the pleasure, could it be the calories? At first the idea seemed a bit daft. For decades, psychologists had been studying performance on mental tasks without worrying much about the results being affected by dairy-product consumption. They liked to envision the human mind as a computer, focusing on the way it processed information. In their eagerness to chart the human equivalent of the computer’s chips and circuits, most psychologists neglected one mundane but essential part of the machine: the power supply. The brain, like the rest of the body, derived energy from glucose, the simple sugar manufactured from all kinds of foods. To establish cause and effect, researchers at Baumeister’s lab tried refueling the brain in a series of experiments involving lemonade mixed either with sugar or with a diet sweetener. The sugary lemonade provided a burst of glucose, the effects of which could be observed right away in the lab; the sugarless variety tasted quite similar without providing the same burst of glucose. Again and again, the sugar restored willpower, but the artificial sweetener had no effect. The glucose would at least mitigate the ego depletion and sometimes completely reverse it. The restored willpower improved people’s self-control as well as the quality of their decisions: they resisted irrational bias when making choices, and when asked to make financial decisions, they were more likely to choose the better long-term strategy instead of going for a quick payoff. The ego-depletion effect was even demonstrated with dogs in two studies by Holly Miller and Nathan DeWall at the University of Kentucky. After obeying sit and stay commands for 10 minutes, the dogs performed worse on self-control tests and were also more likely to make the dangerous decision to challenge another dog’s turf. But a dose of glucose restored their willpower.

Despite this series of findings, brain researchers still had some reservations about the glucose connection. Skeptics pointed out that the brain’s overall use of energy remains about the same regardless of what a person is doing, which doesn’t square easily with the notion of depleted energy affecting willpower. Among the skeptics was Todd Heatherton, who worked with Baumeister early in his career and eventually wound up at Dartmouth, where he became a pioneer of what is called social neuroscience: the study of links between brain processes and social behavior. He believed in ego depletion, but he didn’t see how this neural process could be caused simply by variations in glucose levels. To observe the process — and to see if it could be reversed by glucose — he and his colleagues recruited 45 female dieters and recorded images of their brains as they reacted to pictures of food. Next the dieters watched a comedy video while forcing themselves to suppress their laughter — a standard if cruel way to drain mental energy and induce ego depletion. Then they were again shown pictures of food, and the new round of brain scans revealed the effects of ego depletion: more activity in the nucleus accumbens, the brain’s reward center, and a corresponding decrease in the amygdala, which ordinarily helps control impulses. The food’s appeal registered more strongly while impulse control weakened — not a good combination for anyone on a diet. But suppose people in this ego-depleted state got a quick dose of glucose? What would a scan of their brains reveal?

The results of the experiment were announced in January, during Heatherton’s speech accepting the leadership of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the world’s largest group of social psychologists. In his presidential address at the annual meeting in San Antonio, Heatherton reported that administering glucose completely reversed the brain changes wrought by depletion — a finding, he said, that thoroughly surprised him. Heatherton’s results did much more than provide additional confirmation that glucose is a vital part of willpower; they helped solve the puzzle over how glucose could work without global changes in the brain’s total energy use. Apparently ego depletion causes activity to rise in some parts of the brain and to decline in others. Your brain does not stop working when glucose is low. It stops doing some things and starts doing others. It responds more strongly to immediate rewards and pays less attention to long-term prospects.

The discoveries about glucose help explain why dieting is a uniquely difficult test of self-control — and why even people with phenomenally strong willpower in the rest of their lives can have such a hard time losing weight. They start out the day with virtuous intentions, resisting croissants at breakfast and dessert at lunch, but each act of resistance further lowers their willpower. As their willpower weakens late in the day, they need to replenish it. But to resupply that energy, they need to give the body glucose. They’re trapped in a nutritional catch-22:

1. In order not to eat, a dieter needs willpower.

2. In order to have willpower, a dieter needs to eat.

As the body uses up glucose, it looks for a quick way to replenish the fuel, leading to a craving for sugar. After performing a lab task requiring self-control, people tend to eat more candy but not other kinds of snacks, like salty, fatty potato chips. The mere expectation of having to exert self-control makes people hunger for sweets. A similar effect helps explain why many women yearn for chocolate and other sugary treats just before menstruation: their bodies are seeking a quick replacement as glucose levels fluctuate. A sugar-filled snack or drink will provide a quick improvement in self-control (that’s why it’s convenient to use in experiments), but it’s just a temporary solution. The problem is that what we identify as sugar doesn’t help as much over the course of the day as the steadier supply of glucose we would get from eating proteins and other more nutritious foods.

The benefits of glucose were unmistakable in the study of the Israeli parole board. In midmorning, usually a little before 10:30, the parole board would take a break, and the judges would be served a sandwich and a piece of fruit. The prisoners who appeared just before the break had only about a 20 percent chance of getting parole, but the ones appearing right after had around a 65 percent chance. The odds dropped again as the morning wore on, and prisoners really didn’t want to appear just before lunch: the chance of getting parole at that time was only 10 percent. After lunch it soared up to 60 percent, but only briefly. Remember that Jewish Israeli prisoner who appeared at 3:10 p.m. and was denied parole from his sentence for assault? He had the misfortune of being the sixth case heard after lunch. But another Jewish Israeli prisoner serving the same sentence for the same crime was lucky enough to appear at 1:27 p.m., the first case after lunch, and he was rewarded with parole. It must have seemed to him like a fine example of the justice system at work, but it probably had more to do with the judge’s glucose levels.

It’s simple enough to imagine reforms for the parole board in Israel — like, say, restricting each judge’s shift to half a day, preferably in the morning, interspersed with frequent breaks for food and rest. But it’s not so obvious what to do with the decision fatigue affecting the rest of society. Even if we could all afford to work half-days, we would still end up depleting our willpower all day long, as Baumeister and his colleagues found when they went into the field in Würzburg in central Germany. The psychologists gave preprogrammed BlackBerrys to more than 200 people going about their daily routines for a week. The phones went off at random intervals, prompting the people to report whether they were currently experiencing some sort of desire or had recently felt a desire. The painstaking study, led by Wilhelm Hofmann, then at the University of Würzburg, collected more than 10,000 momentary reports from morning until midnight.

Desire turned out to be the norm, not the exception. Half the people were feeling some desire when their phones went off — to snack, to goof off, to express their true feelings to their bosses — and another quarter said they had felt a desire in the past half-hour. Many of these desires were ones that the men and women were trying to resist, and the more willpower people expended, the more likely they became to yield to the next temptation that came along. When faced with a new desire that produced some I-want-to-but-I-really-shouldn’t sort of inner conflict, they gave in more readily if they had already fended off earlier temptations, particularly if the new temptation came soon after a previously reported one.

The results suggested that people spend between three and four hours a day resisting desire. Put another way, if you tapped four or five people at any random moment of the day, one of them would be using willpower to resist a desire. The most commonly resisted desires in the phone study were the urges to eat and sleep, followed by the urge for leisure, like taking a break from work by doing a puzzle or playing a game instead of writing a memo. Sexual urges were next on the list of most-resisted desires, a little ahead of urges for other kinds of interactions, like checking Facebook. To ward off temptation, people reported using various strategies. The most popular was to look for a distraction or to undertake a new activity, although sometimes they tried suppressing it directly or simply toughing their way through it. Their success was decidedly mixed. They were pretty good at avoiding sleep, sex and the urge to spend money, but not so good at resisting the lure of television or the Web or the general temptation to relax instead of work.

We have no way of knowing how much our ancestors exercised self-control in the days before BlackBerrys and social psychologists, but it seems likely that many of them were under less ego-depleting strain. When there were fewer decisions, there was less decision fatigue. Today we feel overwhelmed because there are so many choices. Your body may have dutifully reported to work on time, but your mind can escape at any instant. A typical computer user looks at more than three dozen Web sites a day and gets fatigued by the continual decision making — whether to keep working on a project, check out TMZ, follow a link to YouTube or buy something on Amazon. You can do enough damage in a 10-minute online shopping spree to wreck your budget for the rest of the year.

The cumulative effect of these temptations and decisions isn’t intuitively obvious. Virtually no one has a gut-level sense of just how tiring it is to decide. Big decisions, small decisions, they all add up. Choosing what to have for breakfast, where to go on vacation, whom to hire, how much to spend — these all deplete willpower, and there’s no telltale symptom of when that willpower is low. It’s not like getting winded or hitting the wall during a marathon. Ego depletion manifests itself not as one feeling but rather as a propensity to experience everything more intensely. When the brain’s regulatory powers weaken, frustrations seem more irritating than usual. Impulses to eat, drink, spend and say stupid things feel more powerful (and alcohol causes self-control to decline further). Like those dogs in the experiment, ego-depleted humans become more likely to get into needless fights over turf. In making decisions, they take illogical shortcuts and tend to favor short-term gains and delayed costs. Like the depleted parole judges, they become inclined to take the safer, easier option even when that option hurts someone else.

“Good decision making is not a trait of the person, in the sense that it’s always there,” Baumeister says. “It’s a state that fluctuates.” His studies show that people with the best self-control are the ones who structure their lives so as to conserve willpower. They don’t schedule endless back-to-back meetings. They avoid temptations like all-you-can-eat buffets, and they establish habits that eliminate the mental effort of making choices. Instead of deciding every morning whether or not to force themselves to exercise, they set up regular appointments to work out with a friend. Instead of counting on willpower to remain robust all day, they conserve it so that it’s available for emergencies and important decisions.

“Even the wisest people won’t make good choices when they’re not rested and their glucose is low,” Baumeister points out. That’s why the truly wise don’t restructure the company at 4 p.m. They don’t make major commitments during the cocktail hour. And if a decision must be made late in the day, they know not to do it on an empty stomach. “The best decision makers,” Baumeister says, “are the ones who know when not to trust themselves.”

John Tierney (tierneylab@nytimes.com) is a science columnist for The Times. His essay is adapted from a book he wrote with Roy F. Baumeister, “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength,” which comes out next month.


  1. 1. Based on your personal experience, these readings and our in-class study, do you think decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy (i.e., an outcome created by an expectation of the outcome) or a physiological condition? Is technology enabling you to achieve your goals or just distracting you from them? Make sure to support your ideas with reasons/evidence (one point from each article, and at least one point from your own experience.
    2. On a scale from 1-10 (1 being least able and 10 being most able), how able are you to concentrate for long periods of time on tasks you don't really want to do in the first place?
    3. Are you prepared for the possibility that you may be able to concentrate much more effectively than you previously believed?
    4. How can you use what you've learned to increase your capacity for concentrating over an extended period of time?

  2. ^that is so people don't have to scroll up the page to see the questions.

  3. 1. I believe decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy although most people don't realize it. In The New York Times Magazine, the "out-of-business sale" experiment influenced my opinion. I wasn't very convinced after today's experiment, but after reading these articles, I am. It proved to me that some people may be able to control their decision fatigue better than others, but everyone has the ability to control it. The Stanford article only further convinced me that decision fatigue can be controlled. The Defense of Distraction article also influenced my opinion, by stating that you can do focusing exercises in order to strengthen your decision fatigue and control it better. I have realized that my level of decision fatigue control is very low and is something I need to work on. Just the slightest sounds make me lose focus, but now I know it is something I can work and improve on.

    2. I would give myself a 3.

    3. I am prepared and looking forward to it.

    4. I can use what i learned simply by practicing concentration. I was unaware that i had the capability to do that before.

    I concentrate best when I am in my own room and I am cut off from technology and sounds.

    I have the hardest time concentrating when there is loud music playing or if people are talking near me.

    Nathan Seidenberg

  4. Decision Fatigue is a physiological condition. Like ADHD or Insomnia it stems a lack of judgement. Growing up in a generation that is constantly up to date and overwhelmed with news and neo-technology might just help increase your overall "willpower". People are calling these things distractions. What correlates between decision fatigue/will power and being distracted one may ask? I for one have a lack of willpower. Talking about a link between these two subjects might seem folly coming from me, but I do see a relationship. At the highlight of my evening I might be juggling multiple activities (some might say a few of these are a distraction). Like last night I sat in my comfortable chair and grabbed Freakonomics. Before I knew it I was updating my Twitter and Facebook and engaging in conversation whilst trying to finish this book. I have found that I have gotten good at juggling this. (Some things you can't juggle; Xbox and Writing/Reading)
    These distractions used to take me off task but now I can function pretty darn good. It could be said that I just don't have the willpower to stop doing Facebook, texting or Twitter. I might actually agree with it. Being said I can multitask like a mall during Christmas.
    If I were to grade myself on a 1-10 on how I am able to complete tasks I would say i'm at a all time high right now, 8. Compared to freshmen year Ryan, 4. An eight is solid, it's definitely not perfect but it means i'm getting through my agenda and some extracurricular activities (Reading Cracked.com Articles).
    The correlation, finally my point. Decisions are based on "willpower." Mental Fatigue coalesces with "willpower". Mental Fatigue can lead to bad decisions, while distractions can lead to ability to make more rational decisions. Neuroplasticity, the brain adapts. It's adapting so that our mental stamina will peak and our willpower will follow.

  5. 1. I believe that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. People can concentrate for as long as they want, but they just decide not to because they are not interested in whatever they're doing. In todays experiment, both of the volunteers controlled their decision fatigue level by leaving their hang in the ice cold water. In the New York Times article, the judge in the morning was not in the "mood" to deal with the prisoner so he gave him a long sentence, but in the middle of the day, the judge was in the "mood" to concentrate and gave the other prisoner a shorter sentence. The main purpose of the Stanford article was to show people that decision fatigue can be controlled. The last article just built onto my opinion that decision fatigue is just a physiological condition because in the article it said that you can control when you can concentrate and that you can do exercises to help you concentrate at longer rates. I have always had trouble with my decision fatigue level, i get distracted by anything.

    2. I'm not very good at concentrating on one thing for a long time. I would give myself a 4

    3. I'm prepared... i think

    4. I can practice on my concentration. I learned in the article that you can actually practice that.

    I concentrate best when I'm alone in a room, away from the computer and with no music.

    I have the hardest time concentrating when my friends are over talking to me and when the music is very loud.

    Patrick Sims P.3
    sorry it didn't let me sign in

  6. Ryan, outstanding/considerate idea to put the questions down here--thanks. Another suggestion (since this thread will only get longer and people will have to scroll eventually) is to open another Tab or Window in your browser and toggle back and forth (or, better with Window, you can put the two side by side). I love the idea that all of us can improve this tool by using and tweaking it.

    Patrick, double-check the meanings of PHYSIOLOGICAL and PSYCHOLOGICAL and let me know how to read your #1.

  7. Ooops i mean its a self-fulfilling prophecy

    Patrick Sims P.3

  8. 1. I believe that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. I personally have experienced this and know what it feels like. It's not like you start out thinking that way it just develops over time. Also, in the in- class experiment, similar to the experiment conducted in the article above, the person who had to do more work, phychologically, was the person who experienced more discomfort when they placed their hand in ice water. Therefore, I agree with the article that decision making takes a lot out of you physiologically.
    2. I would say about a 4 or 5. I don't generally have much tolerance for things I don't want to do and find myself needing to take breaks or I'll be in a bad mood.
    3. I think that yes, it is possible I could concentrate better. Sometimes I just find it too difficult and give up.
    4. I think that using this article I can spend more time away from distracting technology and also eat healthier. In this way I believe that I can keep myself more concentrated for longer periods of time.
    Taryn Kawahara period 2
    p.s. Thanks Ryan! That was really helpful.

  9. 1. Based on the articles I believe that decision fatigue is based on physiological condition. While reading the first article's experiments about how people were less inclined to make decisions after having to go through hundreds of options just to make one decision I realized that this is true for me as well. I am not that good at decision making to begin with, but after making a few decisions I just pass the decision off to my friends or family. I think that technology is a double edged sword. While it can help you to achieve your goals, it has the same potential to keep you from them as well. In the article the author went on about how people can do their work, but then they get distracted with sites such as Youtube, and then they never get back to their work. This is always happening to me, but not just with Youtube with video games, television, and Facebook. In fact as I am writing this I am trying to resist the urge to go play a game I received in the mail today.
    2. I am getting better at forcing myself to do things that I didn't want to do to begin with. Right now I would say that I am at a 5, but that number is constantly changing, I want a good grade in this class so I am forcing myself to do this and not go play games, but if I had another day to do this I would probably wait to do it until the night before it was due.
    3. No, because then I would feel bad about myslef for not being able to concentrate in past situations.
    4.I will carry little snacks with me to classes where I know I have a hard time concentrating so that I can restore my willpower to concentrate.

    Nancy Rubio
    Per. 2

  10. 1) I think decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy, although many seem to deny it. At first a thought it was a physiological condition until I read these 3 articles. "Willpower isn't driven by a biologically based process as much as we used to think. The belief in it is what influences your behavior.” This quote was found in the Stanford University article. We seem to set on minds on the idea that we easily get fatigued and think we need breaks before even doing our task. Having your mind set before doing anything will lead you to actually get fatigued quicker. The experiment found in the article, “Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?” also influenced my decision. Levav’s experiment showed that after a while of making decisions we become more and more fatigued and eventually settle for anything. As much as we hate to admit it, technology is actually distracting us from being able to achieve our goals, “It consumes the attention of its recipients.” This was said by Sam Anderson in his article, “In Defense of Distraction.”
    2) On a scale of one to ten I would have to give myself a 5. I can stay focused for a while, but I know I will eventually not care after a few minutes.
    3) I am prepared, mainly because I and others always seem to underestimate ourselves then end up surprising ourselves with our capabilities.
    4) After reading these articles I feel that in order for me to increase my capacity of concentration I must empty my mind of negative thoughts such as saying I will quickly need a break because I am decision fatigued.

    Questions from the yesterday:
    1) I concentrate best when I’m alone and listening to my favorite music.
    2) I have the hardest time concentrating when people I talk to are around me.

    *Lupita Perez per.3

  11. 1. I believe that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling condition. while reading the article of the New York Times I realized that the people where either motivated by their own will power or not. The judge mostly only gave probation to those prisoners based on timing of how early or how late they were scheduled for. Even when the prisoners where both convicted of the same crime. As in proving that with fewer decisiones having to be made less fatigue.

    2.I would have to say a 2

    3.I am sure I can handle it and would be of value to me

    4.I have learned that I need to have more willpower to be able to concentrate for longer periods of time on things that aren't of my intrest

    I concentrate best when I am learning something I enjoy or like and when i am surrounded in a peaceful enviroment

    I concentrate least when I am learning something of no intrest to meor when I can not hear myself thinking because of all the surrounding noises

    Edith Gonzalez

  12. 1.I believe that Decision Fatigue can be considered a physiological condition. I think that technology can be both benefitial and distracting. Their are times when I really appreciate the technology that is available to us, and sometimes I cant stand it. The section of the article that demonstrated how shoppers who just began shopping were more willing to solve problems compared to those who had been shopping for hours, really sold me on the idea of willpower being just like any other muscle, it can get tired and worn down when we over use it. One example that a lot of us could relate to is how you feel after takeing an AP Test. After your done being hit with all the questions and essays you just want sit around and do nothing the rest of the day because our willpower has been zapped by the test.
    2. I would give my self a 5. When something is of importance and needs to be done i am willing to put in the time and effort. If it is irrelevent to anything that is of importance I would rather not waste my time on it.
    3.Yes I am prepared to except that.
    4.Now that I know I am capable of concentrateing longer than i thought I could, it should strengthen my willpower and push me to concentrate more when it is needed.

    A.J. Franklin

  13. 1) Decision making skills are essential capabilities for every person that wants to live his life conscious and independent. After reading this article I am convinced that some people are able to control their decision-making abilities better than other people. In the New York Times article, the judge in the morning was not in the "mood" to deal with the prisoner so he gave him a long sentence, but in the middle of the day, the judge was in the "mood" to concentrate and gave the other prisoner a shorter sentence. In the Stanford article they were telling us that everybody could control decision fatigue. The third article stated that this sort of fatigue affects many people’s decisions, so basically it was just supporting the first idea. I myself am not really affected by this because I am able to make decisions for myself without the help from other people.

    2) I would give myself a 6 because I am able to focus for a while but not for a long period of time.

    3) I am very prepared and am looking forward to challenging myself.

    4) I have the hardest time concentrating when there are people talking loudly in class. The music doesn't bother me that much.

    Chad Foster


  14. Its so interesting how the experiment in class was so closely correlated with the article. The more stress a person goes through, and the toll it takes on the brain, the more sensitive one will be to other tasks.
    1. Decision making does take a physiological toll. Our brain fatigues during different parts of the day and it can be partially blamed on technology. While doing this assignment I found myself wandering off onto the world of Facebook and it took me about ten minutes to realize that I still had an assignment to finish.. For example, the judge from New York was fatigued in the morning and because of that he let that person go. Later in the day when their brain was on task, he gave the same person as earlier a different sentence. It all depends on when the particular person loses their concentration to focus on a given task.

    2. I am really good about finishing things if I know I need to get them done, especially for school. 99% of the time I don't want to do homework or other assignments but I force myself to concentrate to get it done because it matters to me. I would rate myself a 7.

    3. I am not sure what challenges or distractions are being proposed here but I am good at clocking them out.. most of the time. However, I can easily get distracted from people talking or loud noises when I am trying to concentrate. It all depends on what kind of distraction it is.

    4.I learned to tune out music, or have it help me concentrate even more. In life it can often be hard to concentrate from the smallest things, like people talking, loud noises, etc. I have learned to focus harder and I think I will only get better at it with practice.

  15. I first agreed with the theory of willpower being a source of energy that can be burned up and later recovered. My own experience supported this theory.

    When I took the SAT I was confidant. I had achieved really high scores on all of my practice exams and practice sections. I have computer software and books, all of which are great for your true ability to do well and also to aid your mindset. However, taking these is nothing to the real experience.
    When I took the real SAT I started off incredibly strong. It was a piece of cake (it was a cake for the majority of the test, not because the first ones are easiest, don't misunderstand this) and I was sure I was going to do really well on the first go. (Not implying I didn't.) But as the test progressed over an apparently infinite interval of time-- really just 5 hours-- I felt myself fading. My mind set hadn't changed, I had plenty of salty and sugary snacks (which helped), yet by the near end of the test I could barely take it. I was consciously aware of myself giving less of a shit on all the questions. I just wanted to be done. And when one question was a little tricky, and required more energy, I opted to skip it, I simply didn't want to bother with it; "The sooner I am done the better."
    After reading the Decision Fatigue article I found that my SAT experience mirrors the experiences used as evidence of the theory. Thus, I was convinced I experienced a massive depletion of willpower and that if one could take the SAT in two parts, I would have had a better score by at least 300.
    But, on the other side, of the door, this experience could have been my change in thinking. I started off with the confidence of exceptional practice runs of the SAT in mind, yet by the end, I found out there was STILL more test to take! This is where I possibly switched. Everything got harder, I felt choosing an answer was more difficult. Knowing there was more to go, a lot more, made me think, "I can't possibly last this long," and thus, that was my mindset.
    Here, you can see that this experience supports the Stanford article.

    "I think, therefore, I am." -Rene Descartes. If you think you're pretty cute, then, you're pretty cute. With this idea, you can see, I thought I couldn't keep up the SAT strength, and I didn't. I finished, yes, but not as strongly as I started. This mental event supports Stanford's theory.

    So, I must conclude: I think that your willpower is infinite, never depleting, but the brain is part of your body and needs food. You have to eat and sleep and drink to keep thinking of infinite willpower. I think that running low on biological energy contributes to you losing your "infinite willpower" mind set, and thus you feel depleted. Though you've really just fallen off the thought track.

    You, are the manifestations of your thoughts.

    Trevor Hudgins

  16. 1) I believe it is a philological problem because when a person is mentally fatigued, like in the experiment in the article and in class the people who had to make the decision wanted to go with their natural instinct and pull their hand out of the ice water while the others still could consciously think to keep it in. In class the person who chose between the two items and said why displayed more discomfort and complained more then the one who didn’t. Personally I have experienced this after the SAT; you are so mentally exhausted you could be easily persuaded to do something just so you don’t have to think of an argument of why you don’t want to. I think technology helps and hurts goals, because of technology we have a lot more information offered to us, but it can also be very distracting.
    2) For me it depends on the task but probably a six because I just like to get things done with so I try to get them out of the way. It isn’t higher though because I do them fast and don’t always put all my effort into it which would take more time.
    3) Yes because it will be good when you have long lectures in college.
    4) I could eat more for breakfast and have an earlier dinner. I’m always super busy and by the time I get home I'm more focused on doing my homework then eating, but I learned eating would actually help me concentrate better on my homework.

    Kristen Frias

  17. 1)Based on my personal experiences and the readings, I believed that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe that people either have the will power and can stick with a certain task or they lack the will power or are easily distracted and cannot stick with a task. In the article when the reporter asked the shoppers the series of questions followed by the simple problems i believe most of them just were tired of being at the mall and just wanted to go home, showing there lack of will. I believe that technology is both a helpful and distracting when trying to reach certain goals, based on how you use it.
    2)I would give myself a 5, i can concentrate when something needs to be done but often get side tracked by twitter or facebook.
    3)I am prepared that I may be able to concentrate more.
    4)I can use what i learned form the article by eating a healthy breakfast so i am able to concentrate more during the day and have more willpower.

    Max Kuhlman
    Period 2

  18. The rest of the questions:

    Technology does both. It distracts and aids in accomplishing goals. For example, I have an electronic piano (really just a keyboard, synthesizer) that I practice on because I don;t own a really piano. This is technology aiding me towards a goal. An example of technology distracting me from a goal is an online game of sorts that I find really compelling and creative. I get to indulge in something creative, yes, but I do not actually create anything, it's just a distraction, a good one. Also, I use Youtube to listen to loads of music I don't own, which is great for listening to the phrasing of difficult passages of music. This is clearly technology enabling me to achieve.

    Technology does both; it depends on how you use it.

    I didn't really want to do my color wheel in painting all last week and today, but I concentrated on it for the entire period. Well, maybe not complete concentration but I certainly focussed on it and nothing else. So, I will give myself a 6 out of ten.

    I think I am prepared to expand my concentration, therefore I am prepared.

    I can certainly use the Stanford theory to get my mind where it needs to be to concentrate for over an extended period of time.

    Trevor Hudgins
    Period SIX.

  19. 1)After reading these articles I believe that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The New York Times Magazine helped me better understand that sure, some people have trouble controlling their fatigue but most don't(experiment in class). Although, some people will controll their fatigue differently depending on who their with. As helpful as technology is, it is just straight up distracting, and it's something I need to control.
    2) I would say a 1.
    3)I don't mine taking on a challenge so sure.
    4)I've learned that to concentrate for a long time, I need to focus and strengthen my willpower.
    I concentrate best when I'm in my room, away from noise.
    I have a hard time concentrating when I frequently check my facebook.
    Adam Reyes
    Sorry, I couldn't sign in so I went with Anonymous.

  20. 1. I believe it can be blamed on both, but is more of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is funny how the New York Times reading said, “Your body may have dutifully reported to work on time, but your mind can escape at an instant,” I believe that we are all familiar with this happening, especially when we do not find interest in our task at hand. Secondly I find it extremely interesting and reassuring that students at Stanford took part in a test; and those students who believed willpower is limited, proved to do worse on the exam. It seems that is is beneficial to success that one must maintain lofty thoughts in order to improve performance. And now I am curious to know what driving force explains the actions of those human beings who dared to achieve greatness, besides the power of self motivation.
    2. 6. This is because I understand that a task needs to get done, so I do it. The faster I finish my task, the quicker it is over.
    3. Yes definitely, because if I concentrate better, then it will make me a more efficient worker.
    4. I learned that I must put my self in a good environment, and according to the last article, free myself of technologies hold, as much as possible.

    I concentrate best when I have an upcoming deadline, quiet surroundings, and when my mind is at ease.
    I have a difficult time concentrating when my environment is loud and busy, or cold (its so uncomfortable to take a test when a teacher is blasting the AC). Also if I feel sad, which causes me to lose motivation.
    Rebecca Patterson, Period 6

  21. 1. Decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    2. Technology disables me to achieve your goals. As beneficiaries of the greatest information boom in the history of the world, we are suffering, by Simon’s logic, a correspondingly serious poverty of attention. I couldn't agree with this statement from the In Defense of distraction article.Technology like Facebook and YouTube have made it extremely hard to focus. Right now I'm on Facebook and have a YouTube video ready to go. Technology makes it very hard for me to focus.
    2. 6 It is really hard to get started but once I do, stay focused.
    3. after reading these articles, I'm prepared for the possibility that I may be able to concentrate much more effectively than I previously believed.
    4. I can turn of all electronics to increase my capacity for concentrating over an extended period of time.
    Gary Case P.2

  22. 1. I think that decision making can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have personally known this, I get the mindset that I can’t do something for very long, and I try to do it and I end up stopping in 5 minutes. The Stanford study says that your willpower can go for a very long time, it just depends on whether or not you think it can. If you have the mindset that it can go for long periods of time, then you don’t need to take breaks from things. Technology is able to both help me and distract me. It is helpful because it allows you to research things; however it can be distracting because you can go onto social sites. From nymag.com, the writer says that going on the internet to do anything is the dumbest thing that could possibly happen.

    2. I would give myself a 4.

    3. I am prepared.

    4. I can use what I’ve learned to increase my concentration skills by getting into the mindset that I can focus for long periods of time and that I don’t need any breaks. I can concentrate and focus on what needs to be done.

    I concentrate best when I’m in a quiet room by myself, where I can focus.

    I have a hard time concentrating when there is a lot of noise around me, or there is something distracting.

    Mitchell Edmondson P4

  23. 1. I think that decision fatigue is self–fulfilling prophecy because if you put your mind to it, you are able to keep focus. In the Stanford University News, Veronika Job said “if you think willpower as something that is not easily depleted, you can go on and on.” It all depends if you think you can continue to focus or if you can’t. In our class experiment, both students kept their hands in the cup until they were told to take them out. Overall, I think technology doesn’t distract me from achieving a goal. I am able to do something, such as write a paper or research something, without doing anything else. Or if I am answering questions for a class, I usually do not check my phone because I can concentrate on the work I am doing.
    2. On tasks I don’t really like to do, I would give myself a 5 because I don’t think I’d be able to concentrate.
    3. I think that I am prepared for that possibility, because I am more open minded.
    4. I learned that I can focus on different things and shut out other noises that are going on around me.

    I concentrate best when my surroundings are calm and mellow. I don’t necessarily have to be by myself in the quiet.

    I have the hardest time concentrating when my surroundings is loud because instead of focusing on the thing I am supposed to do, I would concentrate on what is happening around me.

    Chelsey Soriano P.3

  24. #1:I think that decision fatigue has alot to do with a person's physiological condition. First hand I haved noticed that when my body and brain are tired, from the course of the day, my attention span gets to its lowest point and I'm not able to concentrate whatsoever. It has oftenhappened to me during my sixth period class (sorry and all but it's true) during the journal writings, my energy over the course of the day weakens me and doesn't allow me to focus on anything. I just sit in my desk with my mind in LaLa Land doing who knows what. The blank page sits there for the rest of the ten minutes begging me to write, but no ideas come to mind. Also, in the first article the judges become exhausted over time and aren't able to come up with reasonable decisions, so they put them off to another day. They had been burning off too much neergy which drained their system. The second article showed that the person's desires for the cookies instead of the radishes, but being forced to eat radishes, neglected the body's "necessity" and caused a negative response from the body. SInce it wansn't receiving what it wanted, it wouldn't give what you wanted in return. The last article also proves this theory because the children who were addicted to gaming were affected by the impulse of the mind and body to stay in one spot nonstop. I think that technology distracts people from achieving their goals becuase there are always so many wonders that come along with it, so people aren't able to keep focused on one task alone.
    #2. I would have to say a 2 (and a half sometimes)
    #3. I don't think I will be able to considering I am tired most of the time and that just makes me want to fall asleep. But if, for some miracle, that occurs I would enjoy being aware of what's going on in my surroundings.
    #4. I think that not thinking about thinking will help me stay focused on wha5ts really nbeing said and that I can do the same.

    Decision is a self-fulfilling prophecy, according to our simulation demonstrated in our class and these readings. Once a person is deeply concentrated on one thing, it takes a while for them to get back to 'reality'. I'm not sure if concentration can be improved, I do believe people approach things differently with concentraion. Technology is a funny thing; it helps each and every one of us achieve our goals yet it distracts us. Cell phones are very distractive when on, computers, same idea. Although technology can distract us, we cannot live without it. It’s a part of many people and most cannot go a day without using technology—seems like it is embedded in our everyday lives to use technology. I (unfortunately) become distracted when art tools are laying around on my desk. Next to me, I have a new tablet, I'm always wanting to draw something new, just to let my mind wander off on its own. It’s not
    a ‘distraction’, more like a relaxation tool.

    2. 7~8. I can concentrate very well in most situations. I can’t think of many situations where I’m distracted because once I get absorbed into something, it’s sustainable.

    3. Sure, I’ll believe it, I’m prepared.

    4. Honestly, I’m not sure.
    I concentrate best in places where I'm familiar. I can't really concentrate when I'm out front in public. Or any type of stage (like spotlight classroom-thing. That drains my concentration!) But other than that, I can concentrate just about anywhere, whether if it's loud rock music blasting through my speakers or loud classrooms..it doesn't matter.

  26. *phew* boy...these articles have got some heft to 'em! This might take me a minute.

  27. 1. Based on personal experiences and our in-class study, I think decision fatigue is a physiological condition. People have the capability to stay concentrated and focused, but most just choose not to. The common person lets their moods control their concentration and decisions. We have potential to control our concentration, I think we just choose not to concentrate because it doesn't necessarily effect ourselves.For example, the article in the New York Times. The prisoners were given different sentences due to the lack of concentration by the judge.The judge wasn't in the situation of the prisoners, so he didn't need to put his full concentration into it.I think technology could enable you to achieve your goals if you don't abuse it.
    2. I would give myself a 6 when trying to concentrate for a long period of time.
    3. Yes, I think am prepared.
    4. I've learned to just tune things out when concentrating, and to also prepare yourself by eating a healthy breakfast for continual concentration throughout the day.

    I concentrate best when I have music playing in the background. It forces me to tune it out and focus on my task.

    I have difficulty concentrating when there is dead silence. I have room to think about other things.
    Miranda Perez 3rd period

  28. Dr. Preston, you're right. Hope this one is better

    1. I believe that decision fatigue is a PSYCHOLOGICAL condition... a self-fullfilling prophecy. People can concentrate for as long as they want, but they decide not to because they are not interested in whatever they are doing. In todays experiment both of the volunteers calmly left their hand in ice cold water equally. I didn't gain anything from this. In the New York Times article the author blaims desicion fatigue for many weaknesses in self control. I do agree that, "Even the Wisest people won't make good choices when they are not rested," but I don't believe this is physiological. These scientists use desicion fatigue as an excuse in my opinion. The main purpose of the Stanford article was to show people that your ability to concentrate can be controlled, and desicion fatigue is managable. The last article just builds on my opinion that desicion is really a psychological condition, because in the article it said that you can control your concentration and do exercises to improve it. I have always had trouble concentrating; i get distracted by anything. I do realize that ican force myself to concentrate when i have to.

    Patrick Sims P.3

  29. 1. I feel that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If someone goes in with the mindset that they can't or don't want to, then they probably won't end up doing what they're supposed to do. The NY Times article taught me that the more decision making you do in a day, the less focus you have towards the end of the day. It might be hard to make decisions then, but I feel if you work hard at it you can focus throughout the day. Also for me I get distracted all the time, when I don't want to do something. I can get through it but it's tough. I think technology both helps and distracts me from my goals. My phone can help me look up information when a computers not around. At the same time I might use it to play a game or something, distracting me from my goal. 
    2. I would say a 4
    3. Yes I am prepared and I feel I need to concentrate better. 
    4. I can use what I've learned by concentrating more towards the end of the day, because that's when I fatigue. 

    I concentrate best when I'm in a closed room by myself with no noise. 

    I have the hardest time concentrating when I'm with friends and when there is unnecessary noise 

    Hunter Walker
    Period 3

  30. Ego depletion is a physiological condition; it makes perfect sense that you would lose willpower after making so many decisions in a day. Just like a physical condition, the better rested and nurtured you are, the better you will perform. From my own personal experiences, mental fatigue is not something that hasn’t come across my mind. After the SATs, my brain was absolutely useless for the rest of the day. Five hours of gruesome multiple choice testing drained all the energy I had in me. As the newlywed said in the study, you could have asked me anything and I would have agreed to it. As long as it didn’t require me to think, I would do it. Ironically enough, while reading this article, I found my mind wander off somewhere else, as discussed in the article; your mind starts to drift if you don’t find something of interest within the subject. I would have to reread the section since I didn’t comprehend anything stated. Not that I don’t find the matter of the subject boring, I just found that some parts of the article were drawn out, hence my zoning out. Technology is a gift and curse for me. While technology has immensely helped me (from getting directions to a friend’s house or reading up on the news), it is also quite the distraction device. As probably said by everyone previous to my comment, Facebook and any other social media is a major distraction factor. Facebook is just one click away for me since I have it bookmarked. It would be so much easier just to read about my friends’ new puppy or how their upset with the world rather than doing an assignment such as this one.
    I would say that I am a solid seven, even more so if it’s something of my interest. For Christmas last year, I received a novel from my grandma that I absolutely loved. The book was about 1,800 pages long and I read it all…on Christmas day. Pathetic and crazy, I know, but it just shows how powerful the mind can be.
    I’m as prepared as one can be. People seem to always underestimate their true potential and I believe this concept also applies to this. I’m assuming that you are also going to be putting us through some activities that will force us to concentrate more as well.
    I’m a night owl, but having a zero period doesn’t jive with that at all. I’m learning not to stay up past two in the morning so that I can be better rested the next day. Also, eating breakfast has improved my day tremendously. Instead of thinking about how my stomach growling loudly, I’m fully concentrating on the lecture taking place.

    I concentrate best when I have music going on in the background, not enough to distract me, but still loud enough where I can distinctly hear it. Complete silence is too eerie for me. My concentration is lessened when people are trying to talk to me. Make all the noise you want, just don’t talk to me because I’ll probably end up being part of the conversation too.

    Laura Wong
    2 Period

  31. Based on the articles I believe that decision fatigue is based on physiological condition. When reading the first article's experiments about how people were not as likely to make decisions after having to go through a plethora of choices just to make one decision. I experienced this for myself today with the ice experiement. Technology helps me make decisions better.
    2. I'd give myself a 3 because I just can't keep with something for very long without wandering off mentally.
    3. I am opened and prepared for that possibility.
    4. I feel for myself that I just need to put in more effort and that would pay off.

  32. 1. I think that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. The New York judge probably didn't even realize that he was making inconsistent decisions just based on what time of the day certain trials were until after this experiment was carried out. This is also supported by the class experiment, because the person that was mentally fatigued wanted to act on impulse and pull his hand out of the ice cold water. Personally, technology tends to distract me from achieving my goals. Especially when I am doing work for this class, because everything is online, I find myself clicking onto Facebook or looking for new music to buy on my itunes account, when I know that I should be focused on completing the task at hand.

    2. I would give myself a 5 on completing tasks that I really don't want to do. Last year while taking the SAT, ACT, and AP tests, I started out strong at the beginning of each test. However, by the end, I was just filling in bubbles because I couldn't seem to focus anymore. Especially in cases like this where I am supposed to concentrate on a single task for four or five hours at a time, I find it hard to focus on what I am supposed to be doing.

    3. I have often thought that standardized tests are not a good way to judge what I know, because I do tend to get distracted easily and not perform as well as I know I could have. I am a very indecisive person, but if I can learn to concentrate more effectively based on the information in the articles, I would gladly find out what needs to be done.

    4. The less decisions I have to make in a day, the longer I will be able to concentrate. As the New York Times article suggested, making decisions ahead of time can help decrease your chances of getting decision fatigued. Using this knowledge, I can set up a simple daily routine that will allow me to make less decisions per day, and thus allow me to concentrate for a longer period of time. Even simple decisions such as which route I will drive to school tomorrow will allow me to keep my concentration if I don't have to think of that decision and instead have one route that I instinctively take each day.

    Arianna Farmer
    Period 2

  33. 1. I believe decision fatigue is all a matter of a self-fulfilled prophecy. From experience, I know I focus more when I want to accomplish the task at hand and get things done. In the Stanford article, it mentioned that willpower was not a biological issue but a problem within your own belief system. When you have your mind set on something, you do it quickly with accuracy. The NYT article talks about how the decision making process tires people out and after a while, people just choose whatever is easiest. This is because their mental state has been drained and they can not boost it up themselves. Sam Anderson's article tackles the distractions that technology has over society and basically states that the technological world consumes our minds from what really needs to get done. I agree that technology refrains us from reaching our potential goals in the long run, but in the meantime, it also helps us discover what we truly strive for.

    2. On a scale from 1 to 10 of concentration, I am probably a 3 at the most. When it's something I don't want to do, I put it off until the last minute so I don't have to worry about in consuming my thoughts.

    3. I am very prepared to find out that I may be able to concentrate better in the future despite contrary belief.

    4. From the readings and my own personal insight, I can use my knowledge towards concentration to defeat the urge of random distractions. I can try to build up a stronger willpower to things that once caught me off guard.

    -I concentrate best when I listen to my favorite music and when I'm confident in what I'm doing.

    -I can never concentrate in blank rooms that are completely quiet and have nothing going on in them.

    -Kelly Brickey, Period 3

  34. 1.)I believe that decision fatigue is more of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I didn't want to believe this at first but as I read the articles I became convinced that it is truly our perspective on things that change the amount of willpower that we have. The Stanford Article states, “...if you think willpower as something that is not easily depleted, you can go on and on.” I have always recognized the fact that technology serves as a major distraction to me. In the article by Anderson he says that “we are terminally distracted.” Although there are some whom technology has helped, I am one of those who is distracted by technology. A task that should take 20 minutes sometimes ends up taking about an hour for me to complete. In the article “ Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?” one of the studies shows that after a long while of decision making people will settle with whatever is thrown at them. I know from experience that this is true. When picking my quincenera dress I remember being frustrated at not being able to find the perfect dress. After hours of looking at the different dresses I ended up choosing a dress that my mom thought was nice, not one that I necessarily liked.
    2.)I would rate myself a four. When I'm doing something that I don't want to I usually stay focused for only a few minutes and then daze off.
    3.)I do feel prepared now that it is me that is causing for myself to become decision fatigued. I know that I have the capability of changing this.
    4.)After having read these articles, I now know that I need to have stronger will power. This will keep me from being distracted by technology.

  35. 1.Well I believe that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. The ideas presented on glucose levels and your willpower based on the time of the day seem to match up with actually a recent case of decision fatigue on my part. I guess at the end of a long day with no lunch I found it easier to duck out of doing anything, specifically the AP essay, knowing it would have repercussions later.
    2. 3, case in point, the Essay
    3. Im optimistic about the idea, being that I dont want to repeat this secenario
    4. I think some glucose fixes my be good. Also not surrounding myself with distractions that could drain my willpower could allow me to save it for when I need it.

    I concentrate best when I don't have distractions like the ability to open a new tab and do something else entirely.

    I concentrate the least when I have distractions like the ability to open a new tab and do something else entirely. Also when theres multiple sources of noise occuring at once.
    Trenton Class

  36. 1. I believe that ego depletion is a self–fulfilling prophecy. I also feel that this newly discovered propensity is being perpetuated by the technological advances the 21st century has given us. From my own personal experience after a long hard day, I find it muuuuuuuch harder to bring myself to do the homework that requires actual mental exertion. Double that up with mind-numbing, satirical, slapstick comedies of Seth Macfarlen, or the pretty flashing colors of my youtube channel, and the decision is practically made for me. Even now I'll admit that I have three tabs open on my computer screen. One is this blog page, and the other is facebook. Oh! Hold on a second, I've got a new notification.....ok I'm back. Where was I? Oh yeah! It's increasingly harder for me to focus on the more pressing issues that could have an adverse effect if left unattended to, when there's so much more entertaining things out there on the internet/TV for me to explore with fairly little mental activity. (Other than remembering what channel Archer is on).

    2. Hmmmmm. Honestly, I have to give myself a 3 or 4 on a good day when I've eaten my wheaties.

    3. I'm fully open and prepared for that possibility! It would actually make me quite happy.

    4. My concentration seems to be at its best when I have the ability to think more openly and creatively. If its one of those topics in life that is completely straight forward and ''by the book'', thats when I find myself in a much more mentally drained position.

  37. 1. Decision making is definitely a physiological condition. When I’ve had a rough day or just a day jam packed with activities, I know my attention span is basically nonexistent. Usually when that happens I completely shut down, I don’t make any big decisions or even ones that normally seem insignificant because they all become too difficult to contemplate. . Sort of how the judges in the first article are less likely to grant parole towards the end of the day due to how fatigued they are from previous hearings. Not to mention, when I’m tired I’ll just go on Facebook or Tumblr and just idly sit there and stare at the computer screen. I know that technology really has affected the way I do things, usually distracting me from doing what I need to get done. Looking at it now it is really sad to say how negatively technology has affected me and that I have let it
    2. If I don’t feel like doing something then I probably won’t do it or I will but with little effort, so 2.
    3. I am prepared; it really is just about making your body withstand much more stress than it already can so that the willpower is there.
    4. Basically what I stated in the previous answer, once I my body has grown accustomed to a certain, higher, degree of stress then making decisions and concentrating on tasks won’t seem as difficult as they previously were. Also, making sure I don't have distractions like my phone, near me when I am doing certain things.

    I concentrate best with some sort of noise in the background, like music or a t.v., not so I can listen while I work but because I can catch myself when I stop concentrating when I tune into it.

    I concentrate the least when it is dead silent. For some reason when it is silent my mind wanders the most, it isn't just daydreaming though, it is more of contemplating life and things that truly tune me out of reality for a while.

    Paola Trujillo
    Period 2

  38. 1)I believe decision fatigue is a self fulfilling prophecy that is dependent upon your mindset. The Stanford article said,"But a belief in willpower as a non-limited resource makes people stronger in their ability to work through challenges." When the students believed they could accomplish things, they did better than the students who didn't. In "In Defense of Distractions", it explains how by multitasking you are switching channels of your brain which wears it down more quickly than focusing on a single thing. This is also up to you. If you remove the distractions that you are able to, you can help yourself focus and accomplish more. Yes, physical things can help, like snacks (mentioned in the Psychology Today article and the NY Times article), but ultimately it is created by an expectation. Technology can easily help you with your goals but it is much easier to let it distract you because it is often more interesting to check your Facebook than your homework.
    2)I would give myself a 7 because I've realized that there's always going to be something you don't really enjoy that has to be done anyway, so you might as well get it out of the way.
    3)Yes, I am prepared! If I can get work done more quickly and efficiently or learn easier because I can focus more easily, that would be great.
    4)I can prepare myself to work hard, and envision myself being successful and doing the best that I can. I can also do what I can physically like stay well rested and eat breakfast.

    I concentrate best when there is some type of music or noise in the background and I don't have my phone or the internet around.

    I have difficulty concentrating when it is completely quiet because it is easier for me to zone out and go into my own world.

    3rd period

  39. 1. To me, I think fatigue is more of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It shows how negative thoughts create reality. The beliefs are what predict our behavior. For example, in the article “Do You Suffer from Decision Fatigue” simply describes how people tend to give up when we become bombarded with too many decisions.” For instance, Levav uses the example of suit shopping for a wedding. After trying on a few, he states “I wanted to kill myself. I couldn’t tell the choices apart anymore. After a while my only response to the tailor became ‘What do you recommend?’ I just couldn’t take it.” His negative thoughts and frustration led him to believe he couldn’t proceed any longer so he desperately gave up. And I know from my own personal experience this is very well true. Last week was the first week back to school and although I was there, my mind fully wasn’t and the tendency to zone out and lose focus was quite high. In the Stanford article, Watson states: “people's theories are driving outcomes.” And in the “Defense of Distraction”, Meyer quotes: “interactions are time-consuming.

    Technology is convenient and faster but can be a hindrance when you rely on it for everything instead of using your own knowledge. I think it could be helpful or distracting depending on how you wisely you choose to use it.
    2. I’d give myself a 4…my mind doesn’t really stay in the game for more than a few minutes
    3. Yes I am prepared and looking forward to it!
    4. I can start by practicing on concentrating and staying focused a lot longer. According to the readings, it is something we can work at and improve.

    Previous HW:
    1)I concentrate best when I have music playing while I work.
    2)I have the hardest time concentrating when people around me are talking very loudly.

    Jolissa Jiles period 4

  40. 1. I feel that decision fatigue is due to a self fulfilling prophecy. With the evidence i found in class with the ice -water i felt like it was the will power that took over and lead them to keep their hands in the water. The New York Times says, "Your body may have dutifully reported to work on time, but your mind can escape at an instant," i feel like this statement is all due to the willpower of a person who would rather have their mind in other places, not by former decisions they have made that fatigued them. If you have the will to work hard and you are trained enough to do so, you will. After a long day, yes decisions will be harder to make, but after concentration and further focussing on bettering yourself in that area i feel like you can end a day just as thought provoked as you started. Will power is the key to decision fatigue in my mind. In the Stanford article it is stated, "researchers say their findings could help people who are battling distraction or temptation," this, in part, leads me to believe their is possibility to beat decision making fatigue, therefore it is a self fulfilling prophecy. I also feel technology does have a huge part in distraction because i know half the people who were reading these articles ventured off to facebook a couple times and that is something that broke concentration, and could be avoid if our will power to focus was a little stronger.

    2. On a scale of 1 to 10 i would definitely give myself a 4. I have a very hard time sitting and focussing on something that doesn't fully interest me.

    3. I'm completely aware and looking forward to catching myself not focussing or doing what i need to do and correcting and in time i see myself having a better time concentrating.

    4. I can used what i learned by not letting myself give in to temptation. Allowing myself to concentrate fully on the task at hand.

    I concentrate the best in complete silence. When i am fully concentrated in on what I'm doing anything little sound can cut me off and frustrate me into stopping what I'm doing.

    I concentrate the worst when the TV's on. Also if I'm in class and i hear backpacks zipping or people messing with papers because then i feel rushed and like class is ending and i just literally give up. Unfortunately i have a very short attention span and when i get flustered my concentration is completely shot.

    Shannon Murray
    Period 3

  41. 1) I think that Decision Fatigue is a self full filling prophecy. I believe this because I have personally experienced said phenomenon. By that I mean that Ill come across a task that I "know I cant do" and quit within minutes. The study that Stanford did claimed that as long as you think you're capable of doing something, you'll be able to do it, as long as it's realistic of course. Like believing that attaching balloons to a lawn chair and expecting to be space-bound in a matter of seconds doesn't work, no matter how hard you believe in the grand scheme, trust me *single tear rolls down cheek*.
    The technology question is a very difficult one to answer, because it's both. It very much helps me out, but it also stops me from concentrating. During this comment alone I've had to disconnect my ethernet cable three times (not joking) in order to not use the internet (only to be reconnected seconds later to find out "what did biggie REALLY in the second verse of Machine Gun Funk" or "how many licks DOES it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?"[which according to Mr. OWL, only takes three] or[of course] http://bit.ly/pEZqQz )So , in other words, it does both, aids and distracts.
    3)Im very prepared.
    4)I think that avoiding concentrating on concentrating could, and should, really help me out.

    I concentrate best when I am interested in the task at hand
    I concentrate worst when Im listening to music that I know the lyrics to. Because then im just reciting the lyrics in my mind, and Ill sometimes write down the lyrics as part of assignment "Its FRIDAY, FRIDAY, gotta get down on FRIDAY...."

    Noe Bernal
    Period 2

  42. 1. In my opinion, decision fatigue is physiological condition. My opinion is based on my own experiences. I always seem to not concentrate because I am not interested and choose to do something else that I actually enjoy doing. Also, if I have something else on my mind that's something I'm looking forward too, I'll have no way of getting it out of there so my attention won't be completely on what it should be on. For example, in the New York Times, Case 3 was not paroled because the judge most likely did not want to be at his job at that time so he could care less about what's going on while in Case 1, he had more energy since his day was barely starting. Technology, i think, is the biggest distraction ever! An example would be when I am doing homework on the internet, for some reason I always have to check my Facebook and of course, Facebook is the biggest distraction. I will also be text messaging so half of my attention would be on homework rather than my full attention.
    2. I would say a 5, I can concentrate on something for half the time but later I will end up giving up sometime.
    3. Usually, I cannot concentrate unless I am forced to or I have no distraction whatsoever so in a way, I think yes.
    4. I cannot concentrate at all when people are around, it has to be silent. (only exception is music; certain kind) I also tend to go on Facebook a lot especially when I am doing homework.

  43. 1. After reading these articles I believe that decision fatigue is a physiological condition because our brain gets fatigued during certain times of the day. This has happened to me plenty of times, I am usually fatigued after lunch and I just sit in class instead of being involved and participating. We all have our time of the day when we are more productive, like the judge in the article he worked better in the mornings. Technology was always intended to help achieve goals but we as a society have used technology in the form that it is more distracting to us than helpful. We have found ways to make it more of an entertainment than as a study tool. For examples, most of us use the internet for social networking more than we use it for technology.
    2. I would rate myself a 5 because even though I don’t want to do a lot of things that I am not interested in I know that I have to complete them and so I will concentrate as long as I have to, at least I will try to concentrate.
    3. I am prepared to concentrate a lot more that I use to before, this is something that I have always been hopping for.
    4. From what I have read I learned that I can concentrate better by clearing my mind out from anything that doesn’t relate to what I am doing at the moment. That would greatly help me concentrate better.

  44. Based on the article I believe that decision fatigue is a physiological problem. It seems as though we have a certain amount of will power and mental capacity and with all the decisions we make we use up that limited amount of will power. Proof of this can be seen in our in class experiment, Ryan and Issac didn't even know what was going on yet to Ryan the water felt much colder and it was harder for him to keep his hand in the water than it was for Issac. The New York Times article also had multiple examples like the people who had harder time doing math problems after shopping a lot. Personally, I can't recall any examples of this in my own life mostly because I've never paid attention to my decision making process, but I am more susceptible to sweets late at night!

    I'd give myself a 2 on my ability to concentrate especially on things that I don't want to do in the first place and technology definitely doesn't make it easier to concentrate

    I'm prepared for the fact that i can be able to concentrate more than I think I can I'm going to embrace it!

    But apparently to be able to concentrate for long periods of time I need to restore my glucose levels, I have no problem with that! But I will also have to remember that I need to try and focus and increase my will power.

  45. 1) I think that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. I myself have actually noticed that about half way through the day (whether it's a school day or not) I am generally more easily aggravated and want to just do nothing. I think that I'm also more likely to go along with someone's idea simply because it means that I don't have to think. Let them figure it all out. (Like being talked into getting your car rust proofed. You agree so that they'll shut up.)
    I also think that technology takes away from our ability to concentrate. It was invented to make life easier on us but I know that whenever I'm forced to do something on the computer, the screen magically turns to Facebook within the hour. (Kind of like it did tonight)

    2) I would give myself maybe a 3 or 4. If I don't want to do what I'm supposed to be doing it's not going to go over very well.

    3) I'm totally ready. Now I know that I can do better and that makes me really excited.

    4) I need to practice my concentration and I need to make sure that I'm in an environment where I can be totally focused.

    I can concentrate best when I'm in a happy state of mind. As long as I'm happy a million things can be going on around me and it won't matter.

    I find it hardest to concentrate when I'm annoyed or upset about something. I become irritated more easily and get fed up about the smallest things.

    Hannah Hosking

  46. 1)Based on my personal experiences, these readings and our in-class study I have come to the conclusion that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. According to the New York Times article I first read it states that people trying to go through with a dieting plan they need to replenish their bodies to be able to continue with the diet and have will power. I believe that it all does come down to how well we can control our will power. In the second New York article I read about Gallagher who has an immense control on her level of concentration. She went through cancer and was still able to make many decisions and concentrate on many other aspects of her life, this only helps support that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Stanford article states, "But if you think of willpower as something that is not easily depleted, you can go on and on." So it if we tell ourselves that we can do something we can as long as we have the will and determination to get it done. If we tell ourselves that we are tires and don't want to do something our bodies will take on those thoughts and accomplish nothing. For example, when I am at school I tell myself that once I get home the first thing I'm going to do is complete all of my homework but of course, this never happens. When I get home I am surrounded by distractions and repeatedly tell myself that it's "nap time" and eventually I take the nap I tell myself I need when on days that I do not have homework I can stay up all night if I'd like with no trouble. It all depends on the person's will power and we have our mind set on something and tell ourselves over and over that we are going to do it, we can get it all done.
    2)On a scale from 1-10 I would give myself a 5 on how well I can concentrate for long periods of time on tasks I did not want to do in the first place. I always have to end up taking 2-3 breaks before I get the task done. On bad days I will take really long breaks and never go back to the task and put it off for another day.
    3) I am highly prepared for the possibility that I may be able to concentrate much more effectively than I was able to before. If I can concentrate better but am just not doing it I want to learn what to do differently because it would make me highly more successful in the future.
    4) Out of what I have learned today, in order to increase my capacity to concentrate over an extended period of time I am going to now leave all of my electronics in a room that I will not be in while trying to get a task done. Practicing to improve my abilities can help, stated in one of the articles above so I will start now.

    Yesterday's Homework:
    1) I concentrate best when I am completely isolated and am listening to music on my iPod. I like to sit or lay down on the floor and have a enough air traveling through the room to make my environment relaxing.
    2) I have the hardest time concentrating when I am surrounded by people who keep talking to me or others or are making disruptive noises. I especially have difficulty concentrating when my cell phone is next to me because I ma tempted to txt or play with it, my iPhone is my enemy when it comes to concentrating.

  47. Katie Enstad Per.2

    1.) Based on my experiences, this reading, and our in-class studies I believe that decision fatigue connects with a person's physiological condition. I have come to realize that around 7 o'clock when I'm trying to decide what I should have for dinner I have a very difficult time making a decision. In the morning, though, I automatically just know this is what we have and this is what I am going to make. Another great example is homework, I find it easiest to get my homework done fast and with efficiency right when I get done with school, rather than waiting till eight at night and doing my homework while I am checking facebook and my e-mail. Technology, if you don't know how to be responsible with it, can hinder your focus and make you become distracted from your goals. Technology can be a huge help, as well. It can help you refocus, if you let yourself loose for a little, but then get back to work after a quick break. This point can be related to the article with the point that, " In order not to eat, a dieter needs willpower. In order to have willpower, a dieter needs to eat." In order not to get distracted you need to cut out technology. In order to take a break to refocus you need technology.

    2.) I would have to say that I am horrible at focusing on projects I don't want to do. I would give myself a 4 because I will find distractions and other projects to do before I do the project I don't want to do.

    3.) As you become older, I believe, a person's attention span becomes greater and they are able to focus longer. So I agree that I will be able to concentrate more effectively than I previously believed.

    4.) Now that I know there is decision fatigue I can realize that when I become lazy and have trouble focusing I just need a break and a snack then I can get back to focusing. Also spend less time deciding things that would normally be mindless decisions, and just make a quick decision. Save the thought for the important, big decisions.

  48. 1. From the evidence provided by the articles, and personal experience, I would conclude that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, I saw that the scroll bar was very small compared to most pages, and instantly switched tabs before even attempting to start the reading, simply because I knew I wouldn’t read it in one sitting. Although the internet is full of great resources, I find myself using it for entertainment rather than productivity.
    2. I would give myself a 2, because I am playing Team Fortress 2 right now.
    3. It will be a challenge, but I am prepared.
    4. In order to concentrate better I have to ignore all noise and concentrate on what I'm supposed to be concentrating on. I find myself thinking about various other things while I should be focused on school work.

    Trey Jensen 2nd

  49. 1. I believe that decision fatigue is a physiological condition and feel that this belief is thoroughly supported by these articles as well as my personal experience. Within the articles, it can be seen that the same problem arises repeatedly, the problem being that too much choices and decisions lead to a much weaker and much more illogical thought process. The various examples within the articles clearly show the deterioration of one's decision making skills, such as that of the fatigued car shoppers choosing defaults after making various decisions. I have experienced this in school constantly when taking long tests where i seem to get more irrational in choosing answers when I am nearing the end and time is running out and I just want to finish. As for technology in helping me achieve my goals, I feel it is usually detrimental to them, but when used properly can be beneficial.
    2. 5
    3. Yes.
    4. I can use what I've learned to help me concentrate by preparing myself mentally when going into situations where my full attention is needed to help me do so.

    Salvador Ramos
    period 2
    special shout out to the clan


  50. Daniel Gonzalez Per.2August 23, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    1. I believe decision fatigue is a physiological condition. In the article with the judge making decisions on whether or not to grant prisoners parole, the judge, after a short while of producing conclusions, in addition to granting his earlier cases parole when he had no decision fatigue, he lost some willpower and started to take “short-cuts” and not deal with their appeals and sent them back to prison. In my experience I have felt the effects of this depletion. I make decisions all day weather to get to class early or hang out until the minute bell rings and get to class late. In the middle of the day I always find myself having a hard time during 4th per. to pay attention and take notes and I always take the easy way out and just attempt to take notes but then soon have a page full of “doodles”. Technology is neither bad nor good. Whether you use it to your advantage or disadvantage, you can’t universally categorize types of technology.
    2. I would say a 4 because if it was something that didn’t catch my attention to begin with I would obviously get distracted with anything that catches my eyes or ears.
    3. Yes because now I understand the variables of decision fatigue.
    4. Well, since I forget to eat everyday in the morning, my willpower is at the lowest, I would need to supply my brain with “glucose” for some good energy to keep my decision making process at a steady level.

  51. 1) I do believe that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you do a task that has no personal incentive or it’s something you don’t enjoy doing, you become more vulnerable to have mental lapses and definitely decision fatigue. Now, if this task benefitted you in any way, that same decision fatigue, wouldn’t occur. The NYT article included a theory that researchers set out to test which was “that you could build up willpower by first indulging yourself in pleasure..the restored willpower improved people’s self-control as well as the quality of their decisions..” This in itself is an example of how decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy due to the fact that they had to basically bribe these people in order for them to stay focused and make decisions. Technology is definitely enabling us to achieve our goals because it ultimately allows us to do/find/or connect with whom ever or what ever we want. At the same time, technology is by far the number one distraction in my life. My cell phone is Always right by my side or in my hand. I feel like I could achieve so much more if my technology devices weren’t here taking up 75-80% of my day.

    2)Probably a 4 or 5 because when I don’t want to do a task, once I get started, I’m able to concentrate on getting it over with which helps me finish. I mean at least I’m concentrating on something...

    3)Yes because I know it’s possible, I just have to learn and train myself how to concentrate on one thing for a long period of time.
    4)I’ve learned to put the same concentration I put in with doing things that I like into tasks that I’m not as enthusiastic to perform. And if I do this, then I will be able to produce better quality work at a higher rate.

    I concentrate best when I am locked in my room by myself with no distractions i.e. cell phone OFF!

    I concentrate least when I feel overwhelmed.

    Mariah Cooks p. 2

  52. 1. I believe decision fatigue is a physiological condition. Sometimes, after focusing on something for a long time, I notice myself not being able to think clearly or make quick decisions. In the NY times article, it showed how even judges are affected by decision fatigue. “The mental work of ruling on case after case, whatever the individual merits, wore them down.” I think technology is distracting me from my goals. Whenever doing homework on the computer, no matter how hard I try not to, I always end up on Facebook.

    2. I would rate myself a 5, because my ability to concentrate depends on certain factors. If the task needs to be completed, I focus and finish it. However, if it doesn't need to be done for a while, I find myself getting easily distracted.

    3. Yes, being able to concentrate more effectively would be helpful in everyday life.

    4. I've learned that glucose helps when a person is fatigued, so I will try that next time and see if it works for me. Also, I can put myself in an environment that will not distract me with technology.

    Cayla Salazar Period 2

  53. 1. I think fatigue is a physiological condition because our bodies rely on glucose for energy and when this store is depleted, our burgeoning apathy effects our work or what we should be doing. Evidence for this idea was in the New York Times article, "Heatherton reported that administering glucose completely reversed the brain changes wrought by depletion".I can speak from experience because I participate in fasting during the month of Ramadan (which coincidentally is going on now) and when you do not eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset and have to go to school during the day, you really do not have will power to come home and do your homework. Although, I do find it easier to do my homework after sunset when I can eat and my levels of glucose is not low. In the Stanford article, it said " Instead, they've found that a person's mindset and personal beliefs about willpower determine how long and how well they'll be able to work on a tough mental exercise."
    This person has clearly never not eaten or drank a single thing for 14 hours and still had to go to school. It is something more physical than that because you really do not have the energy, care, or willpower to do much work when you feel fatigued. Technology is helping me achieve my goals because the internet and the computer are helpful resources, but everything besides that is horrible for me.
    For example, right after I typed the previous sentence, I switched to Facebook.

    2. Upon answering how able I am to concentrate on tasks I don't want to do, I have to remember that all of my homework assignments I do not want to do, including this one, no offense. Considering I have been reading these articles for several hours now, I can't give myself a very high number considering I have looked at my Facebook news feed far too many times to be healthy during this time. I would say like a 5 or a 6.

    3. Sure, I am prepared to believe that I may be able to concentrate much more effectively than I previously believed. I even know how: deactivating Facebook.

    4. Despite the length, I found the articles interesting in a way. I learned more about how your mind becomes fatigued without you even realizing it and causes you to make decisions you may not normally do under ordinary circumstances. Therefore, I have learned that maybe I should eat before I try studying or needing to concentrate on a task because I do have a habit of not caring enough to eat when I have a lot to do.

    Dania Hatamleh, Period Four

  54. 1: Decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We can focus for periods of time, IF we want to. In my case, I've watched the entire original trilogy of Star Wars in one day. Interest is just lost over time. Take today, as an example, both of the volunteers focused on staying in the cold water, and a lot of students (I assume) lost interest because they saw no point to it or whatever. Once again in my case, technology is doing a mixture of half and half with aiding and distracting. For instance, I could be on my phone while Dr Preston is talking (not true, just an example) and that will be distracting me while on the other hand, I'm using tech to learn a new language. So far, so good."Out-of-business sale" experiment may have had some weight in my thoughts... Individuals can be the master over their decision fatigue. Some can do it better than others, while some have somewhat of a balance.

    2: In most cases, I can concentrate. There are times when I cannot focus to even save my life. So I give myself a 6.

    3:I'm prepared, absolutely.

    4:Once again...In my case, all I need is a little more patience with what's going on around me than what I currently have.

  55. Missy Tuttle
    Period 2
    1) I personally believe that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. The first article explained how willpower is a form of mental energy that can be exhausted. This is clearly true and we show it in our everyday life. A perfect example is doing my homework. In the morning I wake up ready to work and do well at school. After all the exhausting lectures, projects, worksheets, notes, ect... I have no willpower left to do my homework. That is why it's 10:00 right now and I am finally completing this assignment. Throughout the day I had the willpower to push forward, but when I got home I was distracted with my computer and music. And nothing gets accomplished. The Stanford article had a different view on this subject and said, "Willpower as a non-limited resource that makes people stronger in their ability to work through challenges." Although this is proven true, I am still lazy and have to distract myself and take a break before I go crazy. Technology doesn't help me at all because I just get off task.
    2) I can not easily focus on tasks that I am not interested in. My concentration level would probably be a 3. For example, when I try to memorize the vocabulary, my mind wanders everywhere and nothing sticks in my brain.
    3) I am very prepared to be able to concentrate better. I think that that is a wonderful skill that I should really be working on.
    4)I can increase my capacity for concentrating over an extended period of time by believing that will power is something I control. This will give me confidence to finish the task at hand.

  56. 1. I would say that decision fatigue is absolutely a result of physiological exhaustion. For example, I just got home from a tiring and busy night at work. Being a waitress can be very stressful. As a result, I found it very difficult to completely focus on the article while all i can think about is sleep! The experiment in class is also an example of this scenario. Jojo was mentally tired after making so many decisions and she even said herself that she wasn't paying attention to the ice water.
    2. To be perfectly honest, I would say that I concentrate on things i don't want to do on a level of about 7. If I have to read a book i'm not interested in it's really hard for me to stay focused. However if the task is beneficial to me like studying for a test I concentrate at a level of about 9.
    3. I am hopeful for the possibility of improving my concentration skills. It would be a huge help.
    4. Overall I have learned to stay away from distractions as much as possible. I don't do homework with the TV on and stuff like that.

  57. 1. Based on this article, our in class studies, and my own experiences, I believe that decision fatigue is a physiological problem. A great example of this is when you are school clothes shopping with your mom. At first you are very excited and cannot wait to try on clothes that you might buy. Also you are very meticulous in what you buy because if you don't like it you will not wear it. By the end of your shopping trip you are so tired of being with your mom and shopping all day that you do not care what she puts in the basket anymore or if it looks good on you. All you care about is going home and getting to sleep. Because really? Who wants to be in a retail store all day? I believe technology is a two way street. In can break your focus from homework and other important things, but it can also help you take a break and not create stressful situations in your life. This can be related to the article that says "that the technological world consumes our minds from what really needs to get done." I agree that technology keeps us from accomplishing our homework and work, however, it also helps us discover what we can become. In this sense it is both an aid and a crutch we lean on.

    2. My level of concentration I would say is about a 5-6 because when I do not really want to do something I find it very difficult to even get started on them. Also, when I am doing my homework but not really thinking about the work I am doing I have a tendancy to start thinking about other unimportant things in my life such as what band I heard on the radio this morning.

    3. I do not feel I am prepared because I am used to being able to do "whatever I want" and being able to blame it on my lack of concentration. With the knowledge that I really can achieve more would make me realize everything I do to hurt myself in the long run.

    4. I can use what I have learned to expand my concentration by learning to recognize when I need to take a break. Brain food helps me refresh and get back to what is important.

    Lizzie Level P. 2

  58. 1. I think that it is a self fulfulling prophecy. As time goes on and you make more decisions through the day, you just want to stop having to make choices and just get through. Like with the judge, when he first starts he probably is really listening to the inmates and their story, but later in the day, his mind is somewhere else, he doesn't want to think about his job anymore, his mind is somewhere else. Technology can be distracting, because as you really wish whatever your doing is over, you have something there you can use to distract yourself at anytime. I can see why doing something you enjoy and "filling yourself with pleasure" as a means to restore your will power can help as well. That's why jobs have breaks etc. Everyone does it, maybe when your doing homework and you just cant take it anymore and get your phone out to talk to anyone, cause you just have to do something different for a little while.
    2.7. I feel confident concentrating for long periods, because getting it done is rewarding in itself.
    3. Yes, I'm prepared...
    4.I know now that taking breaks is acceptable, because I need to recharge my mental willpower.

  59. 1. I believe that decision fatigue is based both upon an outcome created by an expectation of the outcome and a physiological condition. This is based on the articles and my own experience. The physiological evidence comes from the first article concerning the judges that were more lenient with the convicts they had seen in the morning and right after luch. Obviously, the judges were feeling good because they werre well rested and fed, therefore they were happier to be making the decisions. My own experience is about an outcome created by an expectation of the outcome. I get anxiety supper easy over small matters and it becomes hard for me to make choices. I start creating scenarios and before I know it, my expectations have come true.
    2. On the concentrating part I would rate myself a 7-8. It's the decision making point where I begin to have issues.
    3. The concentrating isn't my problem, but there are things I can do to try and relax more when making choices.
    4. What I have read has showed me how to deal with the physiological part of decision fatigue. And I think that it can be very helpful in making decisions now that I can see some things are preventable. Getting sufficient rest and making sure to eat a good meal and staying relaxed are all key factors in making decisions.

  60. Kari Griego
    Period 4

    1. As demonstrated by the first article and our in-class experiment, decision fatigue is a real physiological condition. There are many studies to draw from in the first article, but the most realistic (and therefore more believable) example is made by the behavior of the Israeli judge throughout his work day. In the morning he is highly functional, and makes reasonable decisions. But in the afternoon he begins to suffer from decision fatigue causing him lose concentration, and making his rulings questionable (since he didn't have enough self-control to force himself to concentrate on the case at hand.) I have experienced decision fatigue several times before, as well. One time that jumps out at me took place after the SAT this past summer. By the end of the five-hour multiple choice exam I didn't really care what the answer to the question was, I just wanted out. I had to force myself to stay awake for the sake of my score, and because I had a long softball practice to look forward to immediately afterwards.
    Certain studies argue that decision fatigue is a manifestation of our own preconceptions, and that will power can be renewed at our own command. Though I do believe decision fatigue to be a very real thing, I don't fully disagree with this conclusion. As made evident by the study comparing students that believed in the strength of willpower to students that didn't, knowing that we can fight decision fatigue by mentally reminding ourselves to stay on task is a helpful tool in fighting distractions and loss of concentration.
    In my own experience, technology doesn't enable anything but my suceptibility to distration. Whenever I am using technology while also trying to concentrate on homework, for example, I always find a reason to get off task. It doesn't matter if I'm checking my email or getting caught up on random links, I almost always end up doing something that may have nothing to do with what I was originally trying to accomplish.
    2. At this point in time, I am but a mere 4. I have a terribly low ability to perform tasks that I don't particularly want to or see great value in. I often lose concentration several times while doing my homework, and find myself shuffling the assignments around to combat that.
    3. I am open and prepared for anything that will help me improve my concentration. As I mentioned earlier in the response, my concentration abilities are desparately low. I need work.
    4. I took a lot of useful information from the Stanford study. I plan to implement their findings by reminding myself that will power I a renewable source of energy. Whenever I allow myself to lose focus and become distracted, I can have faith that my mind contains the capacity to jump right back on task.

    I concentrate best when I am sitting alone at my kitchen table, with music playing.
    I have the hardest time concentrating when it's really quiet. I always allow myself to find things that will distract me.

  61. Decision fatigue is a physiological condition I know that when I was not getting enough protein and I wasn’t eating a healthy meal all the time I felt I couldn’t concentrate and along with that I just felt run down mentally, the quick candy bar or soda does work but as the author said they found out only for a short period of time, as well as the healthy diet it really does help a gram and a half per pound of protein for a person a day (at least that’s what the guy at the vitamin store said). Technology is really helping me to achieve my since if I didn’t have the laptop I’m using right now I wouldn’t be able to complete this assignment, well I probably could but not at this time it probably would have been during school.
    I would say on that scale I’m at about a 7 depending on time of day and how tired I am but I will usually do it anyway since I’m the kind of person that doesn’t really like to disappoint people and hey who knows I may end up liking what I’m doing the end of it anyway.
    I think I am prepared for the possibility that I may be able to concentrate much more effectively than I previously did.
    If I just keep doing what I am doing in eating healthy and regularly I can surely increase my capacity for concentration over an extended period of time.

    Isaac De La Cruz
    Period 2

  62. 1. I believe that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. Having the willpower to do something after a long day of crap... well it's not the best and you usually don't end up doing your best. Like, for example... sometimes I prefer to go to sleep and wake up earlier because I'm not as tired and I work better after I've rested. For example, from the New York Times article, they talk about how after making so many decisions people stop wanting to make them and when they do they're not logical. If you force it on them, then suddenly it becomes too much and you grow weary. Therefore it's a condition that could greatly affect you. I think technology in a way can help but also hurt you in a lot of ways. While it's easy to get a hold of and remember to do something, you may get distracted by something else on the internet... like funny cat videos or something. So while it's easier access and faster, sometimes it's better to just do it freehand and in your own thoughts.

    2. I think with an added amount of healthy stress I'm a 7. Because if I know I need to get it done, eventually it will be done.

    3. Not only am I prepared but I plan to try out different ways so that I can find the best one for me.

    4. I think deciding what is best for you is important. If you concentrate in a way that works for you, then I say go for it. And that's what I plan to do. I think balance is what helps the best. The perfect balance of mind power and will power, added in with a balanced diet and sleep. Everything is a factor that can either help or hurt your ability to concentrate.

    I concentrate best when I tune everything out...usually with the help of music.

    I concentrate worst when I'm annoyed or there are people messing around. Also, when I'm tired or hungry... then I'm just not as focused as I could be.

  63. And that's Savanah Lyon in Period 2, DP.

  64. 1. I believe that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are determined enough, you can make a decision and/or concentrate on what you need to at that time. Whether you enjoy what you are doing or not, plays a big role in your level of concentration and decision making. If you dont care, you're not goign to take the time to produce your best product, or decipher the pros and cons of the matter at hand. Technology can help and hurt me. The internet is a really good resource for researching, and should be used as often as possible. Yet, most people will switch back and forth from the tab with Dr. Preston's blog, to the tab with Facebook, while answering these questions. Personally, I am more distracted by my phone going off while I am mid thought. I tend to find myself starting and stopping, and starting and stopping over and over again checking my texts while in the middle of doing something else. Putting my phone in the other room usually helps me get things done faster and more efficiently.

    2. My ability to concentrate depends on two things; if I like what im doing, and the environment I am in while trying to complete the task. If i dont like the subject and have the TV on, and my phone next to me, and someone doing homework with me, my ability to concentrate is about a 3. If its the opposite, I am very productive.
    3. Yes.
    4. I can make sure that I am in a working environment suitable for me. And as time goes on, I can begin to try new techniques that can challenge me to concentrate in different environments.

  65. 1.I concur with those that say decision fatigue happens due to physiological exhaustion. Briana beat me to it, but I too am a waiter, and dealing with loud, almost rude customers, punching in order, after order, after order, can really tire a guy out. Coming home afterwords to do homework seems almost impossible! However, if I come home after a slow night, or no work at all, I feel more enthused abut doing my homework, and I am able to think more clearly.

    2.When it comes to concentrating on tasks that I don't want to do in the first place, I would give myself a 6. I'm human, and most likely a lot of other people wouldn't want to focus all there attention on something that doesn't even matter to them!

    3.To be able to concentrate better would be amazing! I am definitely prepared to learn, because not only can it help me in my schoolwork, but its a skill I can transfer over to other things, like my job.

    4.I learned that by turning off, or getting away from all distractions can further help my concentration, but also I learned that if I am emotionally and physically at peace, then I can further increase my concentration.

  66. 1. Decision fatigue is a self-fullfilling prophecy. I could have easily decided not to comment on the homework assignment do to the fact that I had no "will-power" whatsoever. I could have argued that I was in a situation very similar to the judge from the article in New York Times and wanted to play it safe so I didn't write some idiotic thing that had nothing to do with the topic. But we all very well know that if the decision the judge had to make depended somehow on his life, he would have analyzed the case to death until he was sure he had the right decision. In my case, I have to find the... ummm... will-power, that I "don't" have by the way, to stop the TV from distracting me and answer this question in order not to get a horrible grade that would ruin my gpa and cause me to lose the chance of being admitted to any four-year whatsoever. It all depends on how much we push ourselves. Thechnology can go both ways with our eduction. Yes, it can definitely widen our horizons. This blog is a great example. Not only are we completing an assignment but we are given the chance to begin a conversation on different point of views as we have in the past; and it doesn't exactly have to happen in class. That is if technology doesn't inhibit it with distractions like social-networking.
    2. On a scale of one to ten, I would probably be a four.
    3. It will take a lot of work, but I am prepared for the possibility, yes.
    4. Personally, I have learned it is practice. You practice so much to grow your capacity for concentration, that soon enough it does grow and you will be able to do it unconsciously.

    I concentrate best when I have no distraction, and I'm sure that feeling is mutual. I have a hard time concentrating when there are too many things happening at once.

    Annais Acosta
    Period: 6

  67. 1. Based on what the article described, the in-class experiment, and through personal experiences I can say that decision fatigue is in fact a psychological flaw. Various reasons can support my statement for instance, let's say you spend all day deciding things for yourself. After a few hours you will lack interest in what choices you make because you've made so much previously that in your mind you consider all decisions as generic and unimportant. When it comes to technology, technology can be a double ended sword because it captivates our attention to a point where we lack interest in anything else but it also works as an aid, especially in a world where technology is necessary for success.

    2. I would rate myself in all sincerity an 8 when it comes to concentration. I would rate myself this because I tend to just sit silently and think or concentrate on a single thought and develop it into a long series of thoughts relating. Mostly because nothing really catches my attention so that makes things better for me.

    3. I am prepared to improve my concentrating skills. I don't mind what the cost is as long as it's reasonable in the long run.

    4. What I can apply from what I learned in class to my concentration is that determination is a key ingredient when it cones to concentrating for long hours of long quantity of time.

    I find it easier to concentrate better when I listen to music.

    I find it harder to concentrate when people are yelling next to my year.

    Carlos Cruz Per. 3

  68. 1. I think decision fatigue is a physiological condition because when one is faced with too many decisions at once their brain just tends to shut down because all the decisions are too overwhelming. For example from the first article about the judge, by the end of the day although there was a decision to be made about the israli's sentence, the judge was just too mentally fatigued to make the proper decision. I know that when I first go into work I am fully aware and able to make quick decisions, but by the end of the night I find myself making odd decisions that only seem to hinder me. I find that technology only distracts me. Yes I can use technology to type up a report or look up information but i just find it too tempting to just browse the internet or turn on the television.
    2. On a scale from one to ten my ability to focus on things that don't interest me is about a five. I can force myself to be interested in a topic i don't find interesting for only so long.
    3. I definitely look forward to learning tools that will help me focus longer on tasks I may not 100% enjoy. It will only better me in work and school.
    4.I learned that it takes willpower to keep concentrated. If you really want to concentrate, you can.

    I concentrate best when I am alone and there is peace and quiet.
    I have a hard time concentrating when I have things on my mind.

    Kelli Carrillo p.3

  69. 1. Based on the experiment in class and the article I would have to say that decision fatigue is a self- fulfilling prophecy. In the New York Times article it stated that it has to do with will power and self control, the example of a dieter or someone choosing between eating chocolate or passing on it. The choices made because of the mental power they have to choose which decision is better. In class the two students decided to keep their hands in the cups because they had the will power to resist the cold ice water.
    2. MY concentration level for doing tasks I don't really want to do would be a seven.
    3. I am completely prepared.
    4. I can take this information from the experiment in class and the article by keeping my mind focus on tasks that are important to me and will overall benefit me. I also will take from this that I should learn to have a stronger will- power and even plan my day out better so I won't strain myself.

  70. 1.Based on my personal experiences, I think that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I feel that in some cases, technology may be a distraction but for me, for some odd reason, when I have one simple distraction like a text message or music playing, it helps me focus better. I can't focus when all these things happen at once but if there is one other element besides what i'm doing, i can stay focused. My parents don't understand it and i'm not exactly sure if I do either, but I don't feel that technology is always a distraction.

    2.I'd give myself a 5. I'm capable of staying focused if I want to. That's the keyword, want. If its a class I don't like or a task I find ridiculously pointless, I have the attention span of a 2 year old.

    3. I'm prepared for the possibility, but I don't think my ways will change a whole lot based on passages I have read.

    4. After reading about decision fatigue and the fatigues related, I will probably end up doing homework with a bowl of fruit in front of me for the moments when I start to lose my mind.

    Sarah Rayburn
    period 3

  71. 1. I think that decision fatigue is a physiological condition just like regular physical fatigue. It sounds obvious, the more we use something, the more depleted it becomes. The brain is also a muscle, and like a muscle, gets worn out when used and wants to do less compare to when the brain was fresh. “The quicker people became fatigued and settled for the path of least resistance by taking the default option. By manipulating the order of the car buyers’ choices, the researchers found that the customers would end up settling for different kinds of options” Decision fatigue also follows regular fatigue or muscle exhaustion in another sense. When a muscle is being used and getting worn out from use it will keep going if it feels like it has more energy stored and readily available or if the respite of the action is near. Same goes for the brain and decision fatigue. “A belief in willpower as a non-limited resource makes people stronger in their ability to work through challenges.” I know this from running and working on laborious projects. If I feel like I have more energy to go on in a run, my muscles work past the discomfort of being used in prospect of receiving more energy. Also if I am digging a trench or clearing brush (which happens a lot in the summer for me) I always have enough energy to see the project completed if the end is within sight. The brain likes to rest just like the rest of the body’s muscles. As far as technology enabling and or distracting me from my goals, well it fits the argument we covered in sophomore Honors English class, “Do guns kill people or do people kill people?” I believe that tech. is a tool that can be both instrumental (making resumes, college applications, ect.) and detrimental (Facebook posting, tweeting, ect.) in achieving one’s goals. It is truly up to the person how they are going to use tech.
    2. I would give myself an 8 or so because during the day and most nights, I always have some self control over my actions even if its just telling myself I am about to start making bone headed choices so go to bed.
    3. Going back to the brain being a muscle, I believe the more a person uses willpower and practices it, the stronger and more lasting the willpower will become and I can never really back down from mental challenges so yea.
    4. Basically I can increase my capacity by getting more sleep and keeping myself in less distracting environments when I am most prone to lose my concentration.
    Jon Hoffman Period 2

  72. 1. After today's in class experiment and reading this article, I believe that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. Throughout high school I have noticed that when I have classes that require more concentration later on in the day, it is sooo much harder for me to focus on my work. whereas, when I have my tough classes in the morning I can focus much easier because all my energy isn't drained. In the article above, I found it really interesting that the judge gave different sentences based on the time of day. When it was right before lunch or late in the day the judge went to the safe decision. One that wouldn't have big consequences and left more options open for the future. It showed that when the mind became fatigued, it was harder to make difficult decisions. I definitely think that technology is a distraction from your goals. It makes it a lot more difficult to concentrate on one thing. Even right now I keep getting txt messages and I automatically stop typing to respond back to them!
    2. I would give myself a 5. It gets really hard for me to concentrate and when I'm not even interested in the first place I usually get annoyed or feel like I'm wasting time.
    3. Yes, I am excited. Sometimes I have a really short attention span, so hopefully that can change.
    4. Instead of relying on will power for basic things such as diet or exercise I can just put it in my schedule as something I have to do. That way I can save my energy for tasks that actually require brain power!

    Nicole Anderson Period 2

  73. 1. I believe that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. As the article says, more people were able to make decisions better after having a source of sugar. Sugar helps the brain create the neurotransmitter serotonin (as well as refined carbohydrates). Serotonin then helps us with our impulse control and social functioning. The test in which the judges ate lunch and approved a higher percent of prisoners to have parole then the prisoners that went in before the judges had lunch helps prove my accusation. I would say that technology is helping achieve many goals and mine personally. To be able to type words into a blank space and have well over 10,000 results for resources and/or research is incredible. It also depends what you are using technology for. For instance watching TV will not help someone concentrate obviously.
    2. I would give my self a 6. I'm not really able to concentrate on task I do not wanna do. Regardless though they have to get done some how.
    3. Hell yea I'm prepared, it can only be beneficial to have better concentrating skills.
    4. I have learned that it helps to eat to supply your body with the right nutrients to help you concentrate better.

    Darin Topham
    Period 3

  74. The phenomenon of decision fatigue is a physiological response to everyday life and situations. As we go through the day we make many decisions and choices. The more choices we make the more willpower we lose to be able to resist temptations or make decisions in the future. When several scientists from the article above went to a mall to test several people of this, they found that the more the people had shopped and made choices on the clothes they were buying, the easier they gave up on working on the algebraic problems the scientists had asked them to try. This clearly shows a lack of willpower after an activity such as shopping, we're you must make decisions and choices based on the clothes you want. In my own experiences while taking the SAT I really felt unmotivated and frustrated toward the end of the test, while at the beginning I would carefully think over every question and honestly answer them. By the end of it I was just guessing. Technology is definitely crippling me more then helping me. As I write this I have already gone back and forth between other websites that offer distractions from work and chores.

    My concentration level is extremely low, around a 3, when i don't want to do the assignment or task. This is just because I'd really rather be doing something else, and I feel that it is just getting in the way of that.

    I am prepared to maybe be able to concentrate better by taking this class, because I actually want to build up by concentration level.

    First the things that I learned themselves are the things that increase my concentration. The more that I learn and apply my mind, the more I'm able to concentrate and build up a tolerance.

    Nicholas Joshua Lycan
    Period 4

  75. 1. Decision fatigue is, without a doubt, completely psychological. The idea of an energy source specifically meant to fuel one's willpower, suggested by Freud, is ridiculous. Willpower is limitless, and can be forever accessed as long as people have faith within themselves. With this said, I am certain that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. With enough practice and understanding of what willpower is capable of, decision fatigue will cease to exist. Stanford students imply, it is possible to stay focused for an infinite amount of time, if necessary. The NY Times article suggests that a steady supply of glucose is necessary for someone to concentrate at their maximum potential, but I disagree. This fact may help someone concentrate, but it is not a determining factor. No matter what the circumstances are, anybody is capable of withstanding countless hours of concentration as long as they have a strong enough willpower.
    Personally, I find technology distracting. When I try to focus, especially when I have to focus through a computer, I find myself again and again opening my facebook and music tab. For example, I have probably opened changed the song at least 5 times while I am writing this comment. I made this connection after reading Meyer's point about how he could "spend his whole day, his whole night, just answering emails".

    2. I would rate myself a 5.

    3. Yes, I am prepared.

    4. I learned that concentration can be developed through the desire for willpower. Now that I know that willpower is limitless, I realize that I never need to take a break for anything. Instead, I can continue working thoroughly throughout the day. I can practice this by refusing to take breaks and further immersing myself within my work. Also, by cutting off connections to my peers while I study or do homework, I know I will be more efficient.

  76. 1. I think that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. Based on our in class study, I learned that people are actually capable of staying concentrated, it's just a matter of choosing whether or not you would want to. An example of this is when the prisoners were given different sentences because of the lack of concentration by the judge. The judge wasn't the one with his future on the line, so he didn't really put all his concentration and care into it like he should have. From personal experiences, I've found myself altering my thoughts and actions with my emotions which leads to lack of concentration about subjects that I really have no interest for.
    2. 5. When I'm trying to remain concentrated on a subject that I don't like very much.
    3. Yes, I actually am very excited to find out new ways that can help me focus more.
    4. I've learned that, it's all up to yourself when it comes to concentration. I believe that if you want something enough, you can do it.( get it done) And that you just need to keep the big picture in mind when doing certain things.

    I concentrate best when I have a song playing while working. I usually prefer more calming, positive songs just so that I can keep my mind on my work rather than the actual music playing.

    I have difficulty concentrating when it is too quite. I find that I get bored and my mind begins to wander easily.

    Adriana Zamudio. Period 4

  77. 1. I think that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. Like mentioned in the article above, when people are forced to make more decisions throughout the day they naturally get tired of doing so. Like when you're holding your hand in the ice water, if you are trying to go as long as you can and perhaps go longer than someone, you will go for a good amount of time. But, if you have been making choices all day you will automatically start weighing the benefits of each side, (keeping your hand in longer and winning vs. taking it out and feeling the satisfaction of no ice water), and you will want to go with the feeling of relief. Technology on the other hand can work both towards your benefit and as a distraction. You could end up on a social networking sight instead of doing your homework, but you could also use it as a source to find information.
    3.Yes I would love to learn to concentrate better even with things I don't enjoy.
    4.To be able to concentrate long I could just practice not caring about the little choices in life and just focus on the important ones.

    I concentrate best when I'm interested in the subject at hand and there is no music playing or fairly mellow music.

    I don't concentrate well when I'm around up-beat songs and songs that I know and end up thinking about the lyrics.

    Ian Janssen p.4

  78. 1. From my experience, decision fatigue is a phycological condition, not a self-fulfilled prophesy. These readings only support what I have always believed. After a long day (we make a lot of decisions throughout the day), I am awful at making decisions. I either make the wrong one or give up and don't make one at all. My will-power is burned out and it takes everything I have to do some of the homework I am assigned. Just as the NYT study showed, people who have to make decisions all day long (like the woman preparing for her wedding), will be less likely to make a legitimate decision towards the end of the day. Technology has both helped me achieve my goals, and kept me from working towards them. It allows me to stay in contact with important people like college advisors and possible employers, but things like Facebook and texting also distract me from doing the work necessary to achieve my goals.

    2.I cannot stand to sit still and stay focused on something I don't want to do anyway for any length of time. I would most likely be an 8 on a scale from 1-10. If there is something extremely important attached to the task (like a college application) then I can force myself to concentrate. If it is just a simple homework assignment, my mind wanders to what I think would be a better use of my time.

    3. I am prepared for the possibility that I may be able to concentrate much more effectively. All I would need to do is have a snack, turn off my phone, log out of Facebook, and turn off the TV (which is rarely on anyway).

    4. From what I've learned, in order to increase my capacity for concentrating over an extended period of time, I need to eat regularly and not worry so much about making definite decisions. I also need to "turn off all electronics" as my mom says, and get rid of distracting environments. If I'm relaxed, I can focus better, longer.

    Shannon Fahey, Period 4

  79. 1.i think that decision fatigue is self fulfilled prophecy. It's based on willpower and your personal mindset. The greater importance something has to you the more incentive you will have to finish whatever needs to be concentrated on. Personally if I'm not to interested in a task, from personal experience, i hold it off until the last minute and lose focus of it. One article mentioned how willpower is not a biological issue and it all has to do with the belief system. Using that statement makes it more clear that the more interest the more willpower and concentration you will have to finish the task quickly but accurate.
    2. my concentration level is probably a 4... If it is important i will get it done but i rush through it not always looking at accuracy that or I procrastinate.
    3.I am prepared.
    4.After reading these articles i know i have a stronger will to concentrate.

  80. Emily Martinez
    Period 3
    1-Based on these readings, I would say that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Stanford study supports that once you’ve decided you’ve had enough, you’re only goal is to make decisions that aren’t necessarily the best ones, in order to relieve the fatigue you have created for yourself. I know that personally, if I’m not motivated, I’m going to quit- pretty quickly if the situation is ugly enough. Our in class study supports this as well. When the volunteers made a contest of who could endure the longest, their mindset changed, therefore they were able to stick with the decision they made.
    2-On a scale of 1-10, my concentration ranges from 6-7. If I tell myself that I harder I work the faster it’ll be over with, that generally changes my immediate mindset (which is to complain and not do anything) to a more task oriented one.
    3-New ideas are invigorating. Sure I’m ready.
    4-I’m actually not positive what I’ve learned is going to be a surefire way of increasing my capacity for concentrating over an extended period of time. I know that I can concentrate pretty much everywhere as long as I mentally scold myself for wandering every now and again.

  81. 1. I think that decision fatigue is a self fulfilling prophecy because there is always an end to the means. Making many decisions in a short amount of time is fueled by self interests. For example, the SAT requires 5 hours of rigorous thought and it takes about 30 minutes for you to decide you just have to do this even though your mind is somewhere else. As in the article, the judge doesnt allow parole to the two prisoners because he no longer cares about the case and is just thinking about the end of the day. Technology is more of a distraction than it is beneficial.
    2. 1
    3. Yes
    4. To concentrate, I must be able to want to concentrate on the topic.

    Paul Hurd
    P. 6

  82. 1. After today's in class experiment, I wasn't sure what to think. After reading these articles I believe that decision fatigue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the Stanford article, it states that willpower is a problem within your personal belief system rather than a biological trait. Through self-observation, I notice that deep concentration is most easily achieved when I have the ambition, or "willpower", to assist me in accomplishing the task at hand. The New York Times Magazine supports my belief that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy by describing how everyone has the ability to control their decision fatigue. Technology can either, distract you from your goals or enable you to achieve them. A positive outcome is dependent on your ability to concentrate despite the distractions.

    2. I would give myself a 4.

    3. I am prepared and hopeful in the possibility of concentrating more effectively then I previously believed.

    4. The readings will help me to avoid distractions that I commonly face while attempting to concentrate. I must develop strong willpower in order to be achieve concentration over an extended period of time.

    I concentrate best when I have am in silence with no distractions.

    I have the hardest time concentrating when there is music on or people talking around me.

    -Patrick Fraire

  83. Kayla McCallie
    Period 2

    1. I believe decision fatigue is created by physiological conditions. I know that my initial attitude when I shop is energetic and more contemplative, however as the hours go by I am more likely to make impulsive decisions due to my lack of energy. Like in the study with the shoppers, the shoppers that made the most decisions were the quickest to give up on working out math problems. Technology is both helping me to achieve my goals and also distracting me from them. For instance, the internet has so much information to help me achieve goals such as: doing homework, applying for a job, and research. However, the internet can also be a distraction simultaneously because there is the option of just opening new tabs that can be Facebook, Youtube, or any other entertaining, attention-grabbing, and distracting site.

    2. 4: I get the job done, however, I do become distracted that therefore, breaks my concentration and prolongs the time it takes me to complete the job.

    3. Yes, I'm open to gaining any beneficial knowledge that will help me concentrate better.

    4. I learned a lot from the small will-power quote that goes (and I'm paraphrasing): You have to eat to have the willpower not to eat. It seems ironic, but it makes complete sense. I know I need to stay energized by making sure I have the proper nutrition as it does affect my will power and decision making. I also learned that timing is important. There is a time of day that fits best with every decision.

  84. 1. After reading this article and from my own personal experience, I believe the decision fatigue is a self-fulling prophecy. The reason I don't believe its a physiological condition is because of my daily routine. Everday I get to school where I don't have time to eat breakfast, so no breakfast and I think my brain functions fine. I am able to pay attention to my teachers and make the decision to listen, because I want to. Then I am able to get lunch, and I feel the same. After school I stay and help the athletic trainer until 4:00 pm. Then I go play tennis until 6:00 pm, then go back to the athletic trainer and stay until 8:00 pm. Lunch was the last thing I had ate until 8:30 pm, when I got home for dinner. In the article the judge ate at 10:30 pm and then was taking shortcuts at 3:10 pm. They came to the decision he didn't have the energy, when I think he didn't have the desire to continue. With me I set my mind and make it a goal to do all these things that will benfit me. If I didn't eat something earlier in the day, I don't take shortcuts and tape an athletes arm quicker. Just so I can relax, I do everything to my full potential.

    I do believe technology interferes with my goal. After being at school for at least twelve hours, I have no desire to do homework. I rather check the internet, read a book, play games with my sister, etc. Though, I don't blame the technology, I blame myself for making the decision to do something more entertaining. When in reality the better decision would be to do my homework right away, then do whatever I want after.

    2. I would have to say a five, if I set my mind on something to do I usually can do it. That being said, my mind does tend to wonder. Making me able to concentrate decrease.

    3. I am prepared to do anything to help me concentrate.

    4. What I learned from the article, is if i set my mind on a task, then I should be able to concentrate more.

    I concentrate best when I think it is necessary to concentrate. When I know I need to concentrate I will.

    I have a hard time concentrate when I let my mind wonder and think about things that are not important.

    Stepahnie Owens

  85. 1. I think decision fatigue is both a self-fulfilling prophecy and a physiological condition. After seeing the point of view of the New York Times article, I instantly started half-reading and convincing myself that I was too tired to focus. I've stayed that way throughout the other articles. I would say that I honestly should be sleeping right now, but I felt an instant decrease in attention after being told that I should feel that way at the end of the day. I feel like I tell myself when I should be tired or unable to focus as well, as opposed to honestly feeling that way and needing to stop. I can easily see a huge chunk of this problem being physiological too, especially with my experience working on films. There are so many little decisions that all seem to matter in order to make something good, but by the end of it you can feel the stress and mental exhaustion, which usually leaves me not caring about things that I regret IN THE MORNING. Technology absolutely distracts me from my goals, I feel refreshed and get the most things done on trips where I have no technology or anything familiar and comfortable to distract me.

    2. 1. I can't even concentrate enough to slip in a point from each article. Not that I don't find this interesting, I just don't want to talk.

    3. I am prepared. I want to.

    4. I like the idea of meditation. I really want to try really listening and emptying my mind when people talk and really speaking when I want to say something.

    Dannielle Edwards, 4th.

  86. 1)To me I believe that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. Based on the NY Times article, the author uses the example of the parole board which is a great example on showing how at the end of the day the parole board gives a different sentence to a man who committed the same crime as someone else that went earlier in the morning. From going all day making all sorts of decisions, the mind tends to get worn out by all the decision making. By that time we just try to find the easy way out. From my own personal experience when I feel tired while studying for a test, I tend to make the decision of putting it off and just go to sleep. From our in-class study I could have put my hand in the ice cold water right at that moment, but by seeing how cold it was and thinking of how numb my hand would be afterwards I began to question whether or not it was a good idea. By using technology it can really become a real distraction. Instead of typing up an essay right away we easily get distracted by social networks and cell phones. It may also help us to find information quicker and easier.

    2)I would be about a four. When I really don’t want to do a task in the first place it is way harder for me to concentrate and get it done right away. Instead I may take a break and begin to get distracted by other things.

    3)Yes I am prepared. I think it would be better so I can get my tasks done quicker.

    4)By using what I learned I can increase my capacity for concentrating by putting away the technology that can easily distract me (such as my phone and the internet) and focus on what I am doing.

    I concentrate best when I am listening to music.
    I have the hardest time concentrating when there are people talking to me about something off topic.

    Jessica Manriquez; Per. 6

  87. I concentrate best when there is complete silence, I care about what I'm doing, and I'm not feeling insecure.

    I have a hard time concentrating when I'm wondering how other people will perceive my work.

    Dannielle Edwards, 4th.

  88. 1. I believe that decision fatigue is a physiological condition. How can someone fulfill a prophecy they weren't even aware of? Yes, your own will power can have an effect on how long you can hold out on concentrating and making decisions, but only to an extent unless you train it. In class, the boy I heard answer questions did so with much more ease at the beginning than at the end. His nerves got to him. As for the glass of ice water... I believe physical tasks and mental tasks are on a different level from each other. Perhaps even the cold ice helped them concentrate better. I personally find myself more focused in class after a snap of a rubber band on my wrist. And then there's the fact that the judges were much more refreshed after having had lunch. It shows that your body does need a break. So if you need a break, you must have exhausted something. Technology has always been a distraction to me. I think it will only hinder me in the long run. I can't focus with all those random computer alerts telling me about some update and that I have to restart my computer.
    2. I've believe I'm a 5.
    3. I'm prepared and looking forward to it.
    4. I've learned that eating breakfast and lunch will probably help me concentrate better.

    - Katherine Castellon, per. 2

  89. 1. I think this phenomenon has to do with both from the outcome predicted and personal resolve. For example, in our class, Isaac may have been able to stand the ice water for longer than Ryan, but Isaac also has a really strong pain tolerance (he told me he has broken things and not known it) while I have seen Ryan be slightly less pain resistant (or pain avoiding – a memory from youth group of him running away from a tazer screaming like a girl comes to mind). I would say that technology both helps and hurts in many circumstances, so you can’t generalize with just a “bad” or “good”. For example, when I’m writing an essay at home on my computer, Facebook is really distracting unless I resolve to go on anymore (which is often greatly difficult) but opening up Thesaurus.com helps me to write essays twice as fast. The internet both helps and hurts in situations like that.

    2. I’m probably only a 3 or 4. It takes a lot of motivation to force myself to concentrate when the task is unpleasant.

    3. I am, but my lazy teenager brain dreads the thought of the pain of developing the discipline to be able to do that.

    4. Learning this stuff lessens the likelihood of me making up lame excuses. This shows even more that rest and enjoyment are important, but I think it’s important to examine what types of rest and enjoyment we’re incorporating into our lives. Spending all your free time on Facebook making decisions about what to like and write and post probably doesn’t rejuvenate your decision-making mental energy.

    Maddy Hunt
    Period 2

    P.S. Were we supposed to put our concentration statements on here? I didn't think you told our period to but I will just in case

    I concentrate best when: There's not anything interesting going on and I'm motivated by either pressure or a deadline, or more positively, by my want for success. I probably procrastinate the most when I feel like I'm not going to be good at something or I don't know how to do it well.

    It's hard for me to concentrate when: I'm at my friend's house and my band is writing drum parts for a song and three different guys are banging on drums really loudly and I'm trying to write/read my english homework. Like last night. So I'm doing it right now. :D

  90. I think decison fatigue is a self-fufilling prophecy. The reason we have a hard time making decisons is because we believe that we are getting tired, and may not be able to focus on the task at hand. Technology both enables and inhibits my ability to focus on a task. When I have a non-technological project, Facebook calls my name, and my text messages seem to come more frequently. When I have a project that I need the internet for, technology is my best friend because of the resources it offers me.

    2. (8) I have the ability to focus well on things i would rather not do. I would rather just get them done, and move on to an enjoyable activity.

    3. I know that i can concentrate better than I think I can. I often find that time has gotten away from me because I was so lost in the work that I had been doing.

    4. Sugar can help some. I can also turn my phone off, and get away from the computer to help me stay focused on the tasks at hand, instead of allowing myself to be distracted. By not thinking about how I would rather be doing something else, I can also increase the time I spend focusing on what I need to be doing.

    Rachel Bumstead 4th period

  91. 1. Based on my personal experience, these reading, and in-class study, I believe that Decision Fatigue is a physiological condition. In the morning, I hardly have the time to eat breakfast and whenever I'm in class, my stomach growls and this distracts me from concentrating. Even though I try to focus, the constant awareness of the sound makes me think about food instead of the work at hand. On the other side, in the times when I'm able to eat a sufficient meal in the morning, I tend to focus more efficiently. In the NY Times article, the judge's decision was influenced by the lack of energy he had throughout the end of his work. In the article, it says that "The mental work of ruling on case after case, whatever the individual merits, wore them down." After making so many decisions, the judge loses energy to make credible decisions and probably wants to go home and rest.
    Technology both helps me achieve my goals and distracts me from them. Whenever I need to do some research, I can go on the computer and find what I need faster than asking people about it. However, as time progressed, the use of technology has been used for personal enjoyment. The most luring enemy is Facebook. In the past, I used to check my Facebook first when I got on the computer. Luckily, it was a habit that I was able to resist from. YouTube also distracts me from doing productive work such as reading a book, studying for the SAT, etc.

    2. On a scale of 1 – 10, I would rate myself a 7 because even though the task at hand might be extremely boring and time consuming, I know I would have to get it over with eventually, so why spend more time? Also, after taking the SAT and ACT this year, my concentration improved a lot because I had to focus for three hours on each test.

    3. Yes, I’m prepared that I would be able to concentrate much more efficiently after reading the articles.

    4. In order to improve my concentration through a long extended period of time, I have to forget all the worries and the concerns I had in the past and have in the future. These thoughts constantly distract me from focusing what I should be doing in the present time. Also, I should bring some snacks that would fuel my body with energy to concentrate on the activity at hand rather than thinking about my growling stomach.

    Previous HW:

    - I concentrate best when I’m in my room by myself. This way, I don’t have to worry about any distractions/noises going on around me.

    - It’s hardest for me to concentrate when people start talking about irrelevant topics during class time.

    ~Samuel Moon
    Period 2

  92. For the above comment, I meant Period 6!

  93. 1. I believe decision fatigue is both self fulfilling and physiological condition.It is self fulfilling because if you think that you can't do something you most likely wont be able to do it. On the other hand, it is a physiological condition because your brain does get tired from having to make a lot of decisions. Like A.J. said, after an AP test I feel exhausted and all I want to do is watch TV or go to sleep. Technology is a double edged sword. It is help full on that it can make thing happen faster, like research. However, it can very much distract you from you task or whatever you are doing. For example it has taken me longer to write this post because I keep looking at the different websites I have open now.

    2.I would rate my self a 7 because if I need to get the work done I will do it.

    3. I am prepared for the possibility that I may be able to concentrate much more effectively and it wouldn't hurt to be able to concentrate better.

    4. I can use what I've learned to increase my capacity for concentrating over time by not multitasking, such as having multiple websites open while going on this one. Also, I could try to really focus on the task at hand and not procrastinate in the middle of working on tasks.

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