In a quick, informative video, ASAP Science explains the complex balance of expectations and rewards that makes slacking off so addictive. The sooner we expect a reward, the more we value it -- making an immediate payoff (surfing Facebook!) more exciting than a future payoff (acing a test!). Luckily, the video has some practical tips for avoiding this trap. Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, who produce the videos, talk about the making of the series in an interview with the Atlantic Video channel here.
"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."