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Egonomics: Wikis


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Egonomics is a term used to describe self-management. It was first proposed by Thomas Schelling in his paper Egonomics, or the Art of Self-Management. Schelling suggested that individuals suffer from a sort of split-personality disorder whereby the present self wants a specific thing (e.g., eating a cookie) but the future or past self wants a different thing (e.g., losing weight). Both selves exist, but do not exist at the same time.

Schelling wrote: "What I have in mind is an act or decision that a person takes ...[based upon] preferences [that] differ from what they were earlier...If the person could make the final decision about that action at the earlier time, precluding a later change in mind, he would make a different choice ..."

Schelling suggested a number of strategies for dealing with this issue in his paper, such as precommitment, use of bright line rules, delay tactics, or creating a pre-arranged deal between selves.

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