Is Willpower A Finite Resource?

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 9 2011 @ 5:42pm

Jamie Holmes finds evidence that poverty drains self-control reserves, which makes escaping poverty all the more difficult:

[I]f you have enough money, deciding whether to buy the soap only requires considering whether you want it, not what you might have to give up to get it. Many of the tradeoff decisions that the poor have to make every day are onerous and depressing: whether to pay rent or buy food; to buy medicine or winter clothes; to pay for school materials or loan money to a relative. These choices are weighty, and just thinking about them seems to exact a mental cost.