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Reward and Punishment Super Response Tendency


We’re always on the lookout for easy ways to do things. For some reason, we almost seem to be programmed to take the easy way out. Maybe because our ancestors had a hard time consuming calories, they needed to conserve those calories. One way of using this idea to our advantage to help lose weight are creating rewards and punishments. This is a form of psychological manipulation of yourself to help you achieve your goals. One method I will discuss is the reward and punishment super response tendency. This technique will simply use our tendency to respond to reward and punishment.


To use this to your own advantage Consider the following:

  • Punish yourself for undesired behaviour

  • Reward yourself for desired behaviour

  • There can be rewards for undesired behaviour (gaming the systems)

  • There can be punishments for desired behaviour (bureaucracy)

  • “Granny’s Rule” - Eat your carrots before you get dessert.

So, now the question is, how do we use this knowledge to help us lose weight? Examples would be, you don’t get your good boy treats until the next day (delayed gratification) or you punish yourself as soon as possible (instant punishment). For example, if I do 300 calories worth of extra exercise, then the next day, I give myself a 200 calorie treat. If I fail to exercise at all, then I remove 300 calories from my meal plan that day.


There are other ways to implement Reward and Punishment, but key parts are:

1) Delay the reward until at least the next day

2) Instant punishment, and it must actually be a punishment

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