This research paper goes in depth of the factor(s) they may allow temptation to alter one’s character. The research that was compiled for this paper was pulled from mainly primary sources such as documentation of experiments conducted by scientists and neurologists, and also reports by scientists that go into detail about their findings on the brain as well as the findings of their colleagues. The research is also backed by two stories of John Steinbeck, which shows how this real-world issue is displayed in works of fiction and how it alters the character of the main subjects in those specific works. Most of the prior research that has been done on the factors of temptation only focus on one potential side that may influence one’s character. This research paper displays most of the factors that have been previously researched on and focuses on the argument of the most significant factor that alters one’s character. The evidence presented shows how the economical side of this argument is arguably the most significant factor in what alters one’s character.
In the life of being a human, one of the major consistencies that one will face is temptation or seduction. Temptation and seduction have been prevalent in the lives of humans since the time of Adam of Eve. When confronted with temptation or seduction, humans tend to have an internal battle with themselves on whether or not to accept or deny the seduction. These seductions can be seen as something positive such as a specific college that would benefit one the most, or it could be see seen as something negative like a candy bar for someone that is on a diet. Sometimes humans can move past the seduction, and there are many times when humans can’t move past it because the “grip of seduction” is too strong. With this is mind, the research question that would be proposed by the audience would be “What factors allow temptation to alter one’s character?” The research to this question would be important because one should know what causes themselves to fall under the “spell” of temptation and how they could further resist it and make better choices in life. This is relevant and relates back to the audience because everyone faces temptation at some point, but they don’t know what factors usually influence that temptation to change their character. When looking at what factors influence one’s character, some argue the psychological and the emotional factors to be the most influential, however the economical factors such as one’s financial status and the idea of economic opportunities are the most significant in what allow temptation to alter one’s character.
One economical factor that allows temptation to alter one’s character would be their financial situation. When one (and their family) has a rough financial situation, they can’t necessarily have everything they may want or need. Whenever something comes along that could be something they want or need, the chances of this temptation to alter their character is very high since they crave this specific item like Kino and his family in The Pearl by John Steinbeck. Kino and his family had a really poor financial situation until Kino came into possession of a valuable pearl. Even though Kino didn’t need the pearl anymore, it’s “great value” gave him too much hope for a better financial situation for him and his family (Steinbeck, 1947, The Pearl). However, if one (and their family) has a great financial situation, then they should have everything they’ll need, and most of the time, the things they want. Whenever something comes along that a family with a “poor financial situation” would need, it wouldn’t tempt a “better-suited” family as much, because whenever one has a poorer financial situation, they tend to crave something more because they usually don’t have the leisure of being able to have that specific item. Therefore, the seduction of temptation would take root with those who have less and not as much as those who have more.
Even though some professionals (and the main argument of the paper) side with the economical factors, there are professionals who side with the psychological factors such as self-regulation and self-control or the emotional factors such as wanting to fulfill an urge because it makes them feel good and it makes the act feel more justified. The psychological factors of self-regulation and self-control are the inhibitory controls in the brain that tell the body what the right thing is to do and what the wrong thing is to not do. Both self-regulation and self-control feed each other and impact one’s actions, not just when facing temptation, but also anything that one may come across in their normal daily life. One could also learn from these sources that with a lack of these specific factors, they will highly impact one’s choices in a negative light, due to the fact that one would not have the right mindset for making major life choices because they would act on impulse rather than being cognitively aware of the effects (Duckworth & Mrazek, 2016 & 2018). If one always acts on impulse, then how can one be sure that the decision they are making is the right one? If one is more cognitively aware of the situation that lies in front of them, then one can make a more logical choice as to what benefits the situation the most. The emotional factors of wanting to fulfill an urge because it makes them feel good and it makes the act feel more justified are what most struggling people maintaining goals face everyday. These emotional factors can relate to something as serious as an addiction to obesity/overweight or fixing something because it may bother one on being out of place. In some cases, some people hide away and they fulfill whatever desire they want because they feel they won’t be judged that way (Kennedy, 2017, A Point of View: Why people give in to temptation when no-one's watching). It’s also possible that those who are on a diet trying to lose weight struggle a lot because of the fact they are surrounded by their main temptation all day: food (Lopez & Petit, 2016 & 2016). This constant cycle of being stuck around the main temptation all day, really provokes the mind to fall into temptation and step out of what the normal character does. By some audiences and professionals, these factors are what they argue to be more significant in altering one’s character. However, the financial factors such as economic opportunities have a more sustainable impact than the other two categories of factors.
With the economic opportunities one may come across, it could show professionals how one’s financial well-being may stay in a good position or could turn for the worst (Strömbäck, 2017, Does self-control predict financial behavior and financial well-being?). Professionals believe that one’s spending history can determine how financially stable they will be in the years to come. This data can also be used for business models to learn what goods to produce more for the consumers to spend more money. There are many people who don’t know how to effectively spend their money to be able to buy the stuff they want, but also more importantly, the things they need. The items that become more valuable to one, tend to be those that fulfill their urges to satisfy themselves and not the importance of satisfying more important things in their life. There are professions who believe that if one identifies that they have a problem with being able to control their spending, then it promotes more cognitive activity to be more cautious of what they spend so they can save more money and have a better chance of having great financial well-being (Ozaki, 2018, Counteractive control over temptations: Promoting resistance through enhanced perception of conflict and goal value). With one being more cognitive to what they spend, that promotes a greater financial situation for one and their family. With a better financial situation, one wouldn’t have to face temptation as much since they now have the leisure to afford the things they want, but more importantly the things they may need in life.
When it comes to the topic of temptation and what factors allow it to alter one’s character, one would comes across psychological factors, economic factors, and emotional factors. Out of these factors, economic factors are the ones that take hold and effect one’s character the most by one’s specific financial situation, and the economic opportunities that become available to one at a given time. The economy is what makes the world go ‘round, and unfortunately that can affect the character of one and how they may act. Sometimes greed can become a problem and could make one not have a good financial well-being, which then lowers their financial situation and could hinder them for the rest of their life. Even though there are audiences that argue the psychological and emotional factors over the economical factors, the emotional factors are what affect people the most. If one messes up their economical status because of temptation, it’ll could ruin one’s life
- Duckworth, A. (2016). The Significance of Self-Control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(No.7), 2639–2640. Retrieved from www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1019725108 PNAS
- Kennedy, A. (2017, September 23). A Point of View: Why people give in to temptation when no-one's watching. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24165872
- Lopez , R. (2016). Motivational and neural correlates of self-control of eating: A combined neuroimaging and experience sampling study in dieting female college students. Consumer Psychology and Portion Size: Making Smaller Better, 192–199. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.03.027
- Mrazek, A. (2018). Expanding minds: Growth mindsets of self-regulation and the influences on effort and perseverance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology , 164–180. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2018.07.003
- Ozaki, Y. (2017). Counteractive control over temptations: Promoting resistance through enhanced perception of conflict and goal value. Self & Identity , 16(4), 439–459. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2016.1269668
- Petit, O. (2016). Pleasure and the Control of Food Intake: An Embodied Cognition Approach to Consumer Self-Regulation. Psychology & Marketing , 33(8), 608–619. doi: 10.1002/mar.20903
- Steinbeck, J. E. (1947). The Pearl. New York City, NY: The Viking Press.
- Strömbäck, C. (2017). Does self-control predict financial behavior and financial well-being? Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance , 30–39. doi: 10.1016/j.jbef.2017.04.002