I have read, quite a lot about willpower in the past year or so. It says that is: "willpower is the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.". Some say it's limited and some say that it is unlimited. Now, from my experience, I sometimes can do hard things in an instant, and sometimes it's almost impossible. Even though it's just the beginning of a day. So, I thought of willpower as a state which you change with conscious action. In order to do something else, you have to beat some activation energy, which is the assumed reward of the things you want to avoid. How wrong am I? Why?

  • $\begingroup$ well this is just two uninformed cents, but I'd have thought it was a disposition, being something that an action depends on. $\endgroup$
    – user29757
    Dec 1, 2021 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Psychology.SE. What do you mean by a state? State of being? State of mind or mental state?.... $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2021 at 12:52
  • $\begingroup$ Imagine the inputs a mouse's brain receives: stomach→hunger; eyes→cheese,wood-and-metal-thing; ears→footsteps; nose→food,cat; memory→food,hurt; alternatives→eat,run,keep-still; etc. The mouse doesn't "think", it simply follows whichever signal is the strongest at the time. Humans get all the same inputs, but they also have a mind that can examine them and consider the possible effects of the various alternatives. They can consciously choose to ignore the strongest signal and take a different action. Willpower is simply the ability to use free will to ignore natural instinct and reflex. $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2021 at 14:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @RayButterworth free will may not actually exist psychology.stackexchange.com/q/10982/7604 $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2021 at 15:43


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