I don’t know many people who will be able to sit in front of a machine full of chocolates, and not stuff their mouths! But that is exactly what a group of German psychologists are promising. At a recent tech conference, they introduced the Chocolate Machine, “a transformational product to improve self-control strength”. It is the simplest device. It consists of a tube that, every 40 to 60 minutes, releases a chocolate ball onto a person’s desk. The next part is where it gets tricky! You have to actually pick up the ball and put it back in the tube! The machine has a counter to keep track of how many times the user put chocolates back in the tube. The machine is based on the theories of American psychologist Roy Baumeister. According to his ego-depletion model, willpower is like a muscle. In the simplest terms, our willpower works on a “use it or lose it” principle. So, the more times you are able to put back the chocolate, the stronger your will power becomes!
The Chocolate Machine is not going to be manufactured commercially any time soon. However, I bet if they ever thought about it, it would be an instant hit! Of the 10 people who tried it, 7 found an improvement in willpower. Those are numbers you can’t argue with.