In Brief

Simple devices that can improve willpower and other desirable actions.

German designer Matthias Laschke and his colleagues at the Folkwang University of Arts have come up with a more enjoyable way to deal with bad habits. His “pleasurable troublemakers” draw on behavioural science research to achieve the best results. The Chocolate Machine, Shower Calendar, and the Never Hungry Caterpillar are just some of the interesting ideas he has come up with.

The Chocolate Machine is designed to improve willpower, it’s a simple dispenser that presents you with a chocolate ball every hour, which leaves you with the two choices. Eat the chocolate, obviously, or put the chocolate back into the dispenser so that it can be represented to you later. Laschke’s research showed that people who used the dispenser for to weeks found it easier to resist the ball over time.

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