Decision Fatigue

The benefits of glucose were unmistakable in the study of the Israeli
parole board. In midmorning, usually a little before 10:30, the parole
board would take a break, and the judges would be served a sandwich
and a piece of fruit. The prisoners who appeared just before the break
had only about a 20 percent chance of getting parole, but the ones
appearing right after had around a 65 percent chance. The odds dropped
again as the morning wore on, and prisoners really didn't want to
appear just before lunch: the chance of getting parole at that time
was only 10 percent. After lunch it soared up to 60 percent, but only
briefly. Remember that Jewish Israeli prisoner who appeared at 3:10
p.m. and was denied parole from his sentence for assault? He had the
misfortune of being the sixth case heard after lunch. But another
Jewish Israeli prisoner serving the same sentence for the same crime
was lucky enough to appear at 1:27 p.m., the first case after lunch,
and he was rewarded with parole. It must have seemed to him like a
fine example of the justice system at work, but it probably had more
to do with the judge's glucose levels.

This is why I will now begin every meal with a teaspoon of sugar; it's
only 15 calories and if it keeps me from eating a whole cheesecake,
it's well worth it.

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