Procrastination takes a considerable toll on people’s lives, the economy and society at large. Procrastination is often a consequence of people’s propensity to prioritize their immediate experiences over the long-term consequences of their actions. This suggests that aligning immediate rewards with long-term values could be a promising way to help people make more future-minded decisions and overcome procrastination. Here we develop an approach to decision support that leverages artificial intelligence and game elements to restructure challenging sequential decision problems in such a way that it becomes easier for people to take the right course of action. A series of four increasingly realistic experiments suggests that this approach can enable people to make better decisions faster, procrastinate less, complete their work on time and waste less time on unimportant tasks. These findings suggest that our method is a promising step towards developing cognitive prostheses that help people achieve their goals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience