Tracking Desires Study (The Study Is Now Closed!…thank you all for signing up!)

how many cookies is too manyby  Kellyanna Foster, Lab Manager University of Chicago, Tracking Desires Study
In this study, you can earn up to U.S. $30 in the form of an© voucher!

While the holidays can be a time for tremendous joy and thankfulness, they also have the potential to be a time for thoughtful choices about what we consume and what we do. How can we maintain our health goals in the face of plentiful holiday meals? Which people should we make time to see during this time, and how much time should we reserve for ourselves? Just how many of those delicious holiday cookies our neighbor baked us is too many?

Malte Friese of University of Basel

Malte Friese of University of Basel

Two researchers in the field of social psychology have been investigating the topic of self-control for some time now. Wilhelm Hofmann of The University of Chicago and Malte Friese of University of Basel, Switzerland are interested in how people handle desires in daily life. While past research has shown that Mindfulness has implications for sustained attentional control and stress reduction, Professors Hofmann and Friese are also interested in learning about how Mindfulness may affect how we deal with desires that we encounter on an everyday basis.

Wilhelm Hofmann of The University of Chicago

Wilhelm Hofmann of The University of Chicago

Much of Professor Hofmann’s research uses short online surveys to collect information from people at various times throughout the day. Research participants receive a text message on their smartphone prompting them to respond to a quick survey about what they’re doing at that moment. This way, the study is better able to capture people’s experiences in real time as opposed to traditional, retrospective accounts of what happened throughout the day. These informative, time sensitive accounts give researchers a rich picture of people’s daily experiences with goal-setting, self-restraint, and other topics of interest.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must own a smartphone with a data plan for internet access and an ability to receive SMS messages.
  • You need to be older than 18 years of age.
  • You must regularly carry your smartphone with you.
  • You should live in the U.S. or Canada.
  • You must be fluent in English.

For more information about the current study, including ways to help participate, you can visit


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