Notes on Experimentation

Lally’s experiments on self-discipline got me thinking about experiments I could possibly perform on the subject. Here are a few thoughts:

1. If there is an automaticity index, is there a happiness or willpower index? If not, is it possible to com up with them?

2. Does mood affect willpower? It seems like it does given my experience with the effect of humorous videos on ego-depletion.

3. According to Lally’s study, different actions take different amounts of time to develop into habits - Do actions that take less willpower to develop automaticity take an equal amount of time to lose automaticity? Or Do they take more time?

4. What other actions rejuvenate willpower?

5. Does relaxation affect willpower?

6. What is an optimal willpower workout?

7. How many actions are optimal for habit formation? Given 6 actions that have a similar “will power” and automaticity value, how many actions are “stackable” - what is the likelyhood that 2 vs 6 actions will achieve full automaticity.

8. Is there an automaticity constant that can be derived from specific actions? If automaticity can be mapped, and if will can be mapped, then shouldn’t there be a value derived for willpower and automaticity for a given action?

9. Do actions that rejuvenate ego-depletion have the same affect or do they diminish? Can I exert willpower, then rejuvenate willpower, and repeat ad infinitum? Or does each rejuvenation yield fewer and fewer “willpower points?

These are all rather vague notions, but I think it’s important to note them so that they can be examined in detail later.