Do firm muscles equal firm willpower?

Across five studies, we show that firming one’s muscles can help firm willpower and firmed willpower mediates people’s ability to withstand immediate pain, overcome tempting food, consume unpleasant medicines, and attend to immediately disturbing but essential information, provided doing so is seen as providing long term benefits. We draw on theories of embodied cognition to explain our results, and we add to that literature by showing for a first time that our bodies can help firm willpower and facilitate self-regulation essential for the attainment of long-term goals.

Source: “From Firm Muscles to Firm Willpower: Understanding the Role of Embodied Cognition in Self-Regulation” from Journal of Consumer Research 2010

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