New post: What is mental energy?

[Note: I’ve started a research side project on this question, and it is already obvious to me that this ontology importantly wrong.]

There’s a common phenomenology of “mental energy”. For instance, if I spend a couple of hours thinking hard (maybe doing math), I find it harder to do more mental work afterwards. My thinking may be slower and less productive. And I feel tired, or drained, (mentally, instead of physically).

Mental energy is one of the primary resources that one has to allocate, in doing productive work. In almost... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

Seems to me that mental energy is lost by frustration. If what you are doing is fun, you can do it for a log time; if it frustrates you at every moment, you will get "tired" soon.

The exact mechanism... I guess is that some part of the brain takes frustration as an evidence that this is not the right thing to do, and suggests doing something else. (Would correspond to "1b" in your model?)

1AprilSR6d I’ve definitely experienced mental exhaustion from video games before - particularly when trying to do an especially difficult task.
5G Gordon Worley III7d I also think it's reasonable to think that multiple things may be doing on that result in a theory of mental energy. For example, hypotheses 1 and 2 could both be true and result in different causes of similar behavior. I bring this up because I think of those as two different things in my experience: being "full up" and needing to allow time for memory consolidation where I can still force my attention it just doesn't take in new information vs. being unable to force the direction of attention generally.

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byelityre 3mo2nd Jun 201928 comments

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I'm mostly going to use this to crosspost links to my blog for less polished thoughts, Musings and Rough Drafts.