It happens to all of us almost all the time. When the dessert is served, no matter how much someone has eaten, what resolutions he or she made earlier, he or she controls himself or herself and eats it. Often followed by another piece of the cake. Since we know that sweets are so bad for our health, why do we eat them when they are served? The purpose of the video is to explain why this happens based on a cognitive bias called hyperbolic discounting. So let's start with a story. Our dear friend Dimitris plays the lottery for a lifetime waiting to win the Jackpot, the big prize. He's been playing for years when one day what he's dreamed of for a lifetime happens! He wins a million euros! Filled with joy, he runs to collect his prize dreaming of how he will spend his money. But when he arrives at the office to pick up the check, the lottery company offers him one more option. If he wants, he can take the 1 million now and go and enjoy it as he wants, or he can make a contract with the company that will give him 50,000 euros a year for the rest of his life. Dimitris is 35 years old and by doing a quick calculation he finds that if he is going to live more than 20 years he will get more money than 1 million euros. That is, if he lives past the age of 55, which he intends to do, he will earn a lot more money. If, say, he reaches 75, then instead of one, he will have won two million. And at least statistically a large percentage of men make it to 75. So, it's not a bad proposition. Despite this, Dimitris chooses to take the million and go home to enjoy it as he has been dreaming all his life. Dimitris did well and we do not judge him for it, but on the other hand I wonder why we rush to enjoy the immediate benefits of an action rather than waiting for a greater benefit in the future. In psychology, this cognitive bias is called hyperbolic discounting. That is, the tendency of people to prefer a smaller profit now, rather than a larger profit in the future. That is, to eat the dessert now and feel the pleasure and taste of it that will last for a few seconds, rather than doing something that will take care of their health in the future. They prefer to smoke a cigarette now that will give them instant gratification for a few minutes, without thinking that in the future there will be very unpleasant consequences to face from this choice. This happens for 2 reasons. The first is that ”now” seems more certain. The pleasure in the moment swells in our minds, while the future benefits dissipate into an abstract "later". The second reason is that waiting for future benefits is difficult. Eating dessert now is easy because it requires no restraint. While self-restraint is absolutely necessary if you have to say no to sweets. We have said that the most important thing is not to have to use our self-control to avoid eating sweets, but when the sweets are served, the only thing that saves us is self-control. This is our chance to exert self-control! I will be very happy if you remember all this the next time the dessert is served. Thank you very much.

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