Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Amazing statistic

On the second page of an article in today's Slate magazine about why the government should pay you to lose weight, there's an absolutely amazing statistic quoted from a study of heroin addicts:

One famous study asked heroin addicts and nonaddicts to tell a story by completing the following sentence: "I woke up this morning and I thought about the future and I thought ..." On average, nonaddicts described a future that was 4.7 years away, whereas the addicts described a future that was just nine days away.

What a profoundly telling example of short-term, concrete-bound thinking.

The really interesting question is does the heroin addiction cause the short-term mentality or does a propensity towards short-term thinking lead to heroin addiction?

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