You should probably be eating more cupcakes. It’ll make you a better negotiator. I have pretty conclusive evidence showing that glucose increases your cognitive faculties, improves physical stamina and even your ability to manage your emotions when negotiations get tough.
In the words of Jeffrey Lebowski, new shit has come to light. I have recently come across 3 reliable sources educating me on the mind-altering powers of the red velvet variety.
The first was a set of experiments conducted by psychologist Roy Baumeister on how glucose depletion affects our cognitive processing and self-control. The second was the connection between these findings and our decision-making processes as cited in Daniel Khaneman’s fantastic new book Thinking Fast and Slow. And the nail in the coffin was a post by blogger Jesse Galef entitled the reasons why decision theory tells you to eat all the cupcakes.
Let me explain. Willpower, critical thinking and physical effort all draw off a shared pool of mental energy. (This is why you feel physically tired after a tough day sitting at your desk and why you are more likely to break your diet after going to the gym.)
Your mental energy is fueled by glucose reserves. You have a limited supply of glucose in your body, which means you have a limited supply of willpower or cognitive processing power in a given day. Ever notice how you have trouble thinking clearly when you’re hungry? You’re likely in need of a glucose boost.
So if you have a big negotiation coming up and you pass on the dessert cart here’s what’s going to happen:
The willpower it takes to say no to a cupcake (which in my case is a LOT) uses up the glucose reserves your brain is going to need to think clearly and maintain your cool in the negotiation. So saying no to the cupcake will actually make you a WORSE negotiator.
In addition, Baumeister’s studies have shown that glucose consumption limits cognitive errors and improves performance while people are performing complex tasks (like negotiating, for example). You know what have a whole hell of a lot of glucose? Cupcakes!
So if you say yes to the cupcake, not only are you maintaining the glucose reserves your brain needs to negotiate well, you are getting a glucose boost from the cupcake itself, IMPROVING the way your brain functions.
That’s as much scientific proof as I need. Say yes to the cupcake/ cookie/ sugary treat and you’ll have more mental energy to invest into being creative, meeting your interests and managing the emotional element of your work.
Cupcakes make you smarter and richer? That’s pretty much the best news I’ve heard all year.
What do you think?