In the Summer of 2020, it is easy to tell ourselves that we’ll call our representatives and sign that petition in the hopes of making change for a better world. But why are the rates of follow-through so low? Why don’t more people do these simple tasks that would have such high impact?
There are, as with most behaviors, many factors at play. One phenomenon that might be involved is premature reward. We can feel good about just the IDEA of doing something. Now that we’ve told ourselves that we’ll take action, we already have the rewarding feeling of dopamine flooding our systems without actually doing anything.
To learn more about how this anticipatory reward works, check out my article on That’s Life [Science].