[ExI] willpower defined

Will Steinberg steinberg.will at gmail.com
Sun Apr 10 00:31:15 UTC 2022

Not every experiment has to be done like a clinical trial.

Take 100,000 people.  Also have each of them them to an objective observer
in their life.  Ask each of the 10000 their goals for the next year.  In a
year, check with the participants and their observers, to see whether they
completed their goals.  Split the 'did complete' and 'didn't complete'
groups into 2.  Match individuals in each group to an individual in the
other who is matched in terms of income, race, age, sex, as much as
possible.  Discard unmatched participants.  The difference is willpower

On Sat, Apr 9, 2022 at 1:20 PM William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> EXample:  a couple, male and female, go to a party.  The guy's
> ex-girlfriend is there.  We observe his interactions with people.  He talks
> to others, including the ex and his date observes body language, facial
> expressions and so on.  We see signs in her of anger and just being upset.
> She talks to him and they leave the party.
> Well, does that look like jealousy?  Sure does.  But how do we know it's
> not a stomachache?  Or leaving to study for a test?  Or or or.We don't.
> What we need is more observations of that couple in various situations and
> maybe just interview them and ask what is going on.
> The point is this:  for an abstract concept to have some validity, you
> cannot have just one line of evidence.  The more observations you have
> which, common sense-wise, look like jealousy, the better.
> But you can never be sure.  Even if both the guy and the girl say they
> have problems with jealousy in her, it can be something else. Maybe she is
> acting jealous and doesn't care a flip who he talks to or dances with etc.
> You cannot directly observe an abstraction.  You can only observe the
> factual data (smiling at other girls while she fumes) and infer.
> So - with willpower, you have to observe several different situations in
> which the person succeeds, or fails, and try to find a pattern.  And try to
> build a theory.
> Like any other aspect of psyc, unknown variables which very often cannot
> be controlled for, are present and can mess up your interpretations, and
> those are likely to vary between and among situations.  Complex behavior
> has more than one cause - we call it multi-determined.
> Psychology has many such theories and all of them have messy data, some
> studies supporting, some not, some poorly controlled, some with unusual Ss
> and so on and so on.  Maddening trying to figure out people.  Psychologists
> are the least likely people to form solid conclusions in analyzing people.
> And certainly not quickly.
> bill w
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