I just finished writing this meandering post about sequential rationality. Subsequently, I thought of these better examples that come from different angles.
First, a classic example (mostly) of failures of sequential rationality: food challenges. In most cases, most people who think they can eat that amount of food can eat that amount of food. They just end up, part of the way through the challenge, not wanting to do so.
A so-so story about motivation that, upon reflection, suggests an interesting take on harnessing “nonsense” intrinsic motivations to overcome sequential rationality/commitment problems: Jerry Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain” tip for writing. (But, how do I motivate myself to bother writing the “X” on the calendar? I’ll just remember, right? HAHAHA.) In other words, it’s usually more fun to not work than work (because, hey, somebody‘s got to bang on that drum ALL DAY), but it also sucks to think about breaking a streak. Well, at least a streak that is endorsed by Jerry Seinfeld.