Complexity: A Theoretical Analysis with Implications to Self Regulation and Goal Pursuit

50 Pages Posted: 6 May 2012 Last revised: 29 Jun 2015

Date Written: May 6, 2015

Abstract

We consider computational tasks that arise from the management of multiple goals. Building upon the field of computational complexity theory, we argue that multiple goals give rise to many computational problems that are intractable (namely, NP-hard) and unlikely to be solvable in reasonable amount of time. Our main thesis is that a major reason for failures to achieve goals is computational in nature and cannot be attributed to lack of motivation, will-power or self-control. We discuss implications as well as future directions regarding the connection between self-regulation, goal pursuit and computational hardness.

Keywords: Algorithms, Bounded Rationality, Computational Complexity, Goal Systems

Suggested Citation

Reichman, Daniel, Complexity: A Theoretical Analysis with Implications to Self Regulation and Goal Pursuit (May 6, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2051980 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2051980

Daniel Reichman (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
115
rank
236,151
Abstract Views
860
PlumX Metrics