Mental Effort

Why Does Thinking Feel Like Hard Work?

You know that mental tension—perhaps you were wrestling with some mathematical problem, or trying to remember the shopping list, or attempting to ignore some noisy colleagues to focus on your work.

Why Does Thinking Feel Like Hard Work?

These activities provide a stark contrast to the gentle thoughts that appear when we daydream, or have an intuition about something, or act on autopilot.

Mental effort is a necessary part of life, but would life be better if we enjoyed that feeling a little more? Is the mind like a muscle in that working it out will come with added benefits later on? What happens in the brain when we invest some extra cognitive force?

Mental Effort will explore these questions. It will be a deeper follow up to The Will to Think, a post/pdf I published earlier—you can read it online here or download the pdf here. Mental Effort will kick it up a notch.

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