Financial imprudence is linked to other impulsive behaviour such as overeating, smoking and infidelity, according to a new study led by UCL researchers, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
The study, conducted through the BBC website with over 40,000 participants, measured people's financial impulsivity by asking whether they would they prefer to receive £45 in three days or £70 in three months. The survey asked a related series of questions about other behaviours. Nearly half of those who responded preferred the smaller-sooner sum of money, and these people were more likely to show an array of other impulsive behaviours.
"Learning to make decisions that lead to long-term happiness, not just instantaneous gratification, could benefit us all. Simple techniques can help reduce impulsivity: like imagining how you'd feel about your decision in a year's time, or trying to avoid making decisions in the heat of the moment."
Simple techniques may cure impulsive behavior
The researchers assert that simple techniques can help in overcoming such impulsive behaviors. For instance, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) focusing on building skills may help in checking the impulsive behaviors.
Mindfulness, one of the skills taught via DBT, may help those suffering from an impulsive behavior to be cautious of their actions and take time to consider the consequences of the same.
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