Sounds a tad crazy, but there’s now a device that shocks you whenever it detects that you’re engaging in a habit you want to break.
Here’s the pitch:
MEET PAVLOK: THE FIRST DEVICE THAT BREAKS HABITS BY DELETING TEMPTATION.
PAVLOK ASSOCIATES A MILD ZAP WITH YOUR BAD HABIT, TRAINING YOUR BRAIN TO STOP LIKING THE HABIT.
No clue if it works, but it’s an example of precommitment – making a decision today that alters the costs and benefits of future choices. In this case, it increases the cost of doing a tempting future behavior.
Typically precommitment works best when you find a Goldilocks level of punishment: too low and it won’t dissuade you from engaging the bad behavior; too high and you will shy away from using the device altogether.
Let me know if you’ve tried it!