26 October 2008

Self-Control Articles

Here are links to two articles on self-control. One is in response to the other and I found the comment of the parent of a FAS child to be particularly interesting:

Marshmallow Temptations at Boston.com

Self-Control and the Prefrontal Cortex at Frontal Cortex

This kind of research is very pertinent to understanding attitude. In order to understand how to apply the ideas about attitude that I present on my web sites we have to understand how much control over our own and other people's mind states we actually have.

That's why I find the mother's comments so interesting. She has a child who has organic difficulties that she is learning to manage through altering the context of demands made on her child. When the context of demands provides a small cognitive load according to her daughter's moment-to-moment thresholds then she is able to function reasonably well. When the cognitive load exceeds those thresholds, then she does not function as well. This girl's mother is realizing that the best gauge of success is the consistency of the pattern of consciousness she recognizes as functional.

How long will it take before we realize that the same is true of all children? We need to manage educational situations in order to produce a variety of cognitive loads that result in ever more consistent access to optimal states of mind (or at least functional states in the case of children like this girl).

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