Why immediate reward might be the way to go

Self-control is a desired trait.

Many times, if you want things done you need self-control or discipline. Some difficult things in life can be achieved by just hanging in there. Staying on a diet, finishing an education and living within your means all require self-control.

To help us, we often use social pressure as motivation. We sign up for things or announce that we are engaging in a challenging activity that will make our life better in the long run.

Behavioral economists try to assess how much of an effort it really is for us to keep your eyes on the prize and not give up along the way. Apparently, for some of us the brain likes to act on short-term benefits rather than long-term ones, even if the reward will be greater if you wait. This is known as hyperbolic discounting, or more simply near-term bias. This is a bias that influences certain individuals every time they make a decision.

A link between two competing systems in the brain is thought to cause this bias. The part of the brain that values immediate rewards clashes with the part that values delayed rewards. These two systems are associated with specific regions in the brain and have been seen on brain scanning images. Choosing the immediate reward is slightly more connected with the emotional regions of the brain compared to choosing a delayed reward. The fact that your memories are also connected with emotion could mean that immediate rearward is remembered and driving this bias.

I guess this means that opting for an immediate reward leads to having a better time. Or at least, a time you will remember.