Low frustration tolerance
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Low frustration tolerance (LFT), or "short-term hedonism" is a concept utilized to describe the inability to tolerate unpleasant feelings or stressful situations. The feeling that reality should be as wished, insisting that everything that a person dislikes should be resolved quickly and easily, and if it's not, it leads to emotional disturbance. Behaviors are then derived towards avoiding frustrating events which, paradoxically, lead to increased frustration and even greater mental stress.
In REBT the opposite construct is "high frustration tolerance".
The concept was originally developed by psychologist Albert Ellis who theorized that low frustration tolerance is an evaluative component in dysfunctional and irrational beliefs. His theory of REBT proposes that irrational beliefs and the avoidance of stressful situations is the origin of behavioral and emotional problems. As humans, we tend to seek for instant gratification to avoid pain, ignoring the fact that evading a situation now, will make it more problematic later.
Types of Hedonism
· Inferential hedonism: People’s desires are regarding their own hedonic states of pleasure and pain.
· Reinforcement Hedonism: The content of a person’s desire, is reinforced because of the pleasure that imagining the specific desire brings.
Stress and LFT
According to REBT, the way people perceive stressful factors; play a role on how we experience stress. Stress exists as part of the nervous system of humans, and it affects humans’ well-being when the degree of stress exceeds their capacity of managing the situation either temporarily or permanently.
Implications of LFT
LFT have been suggested to be the explanation and main cause of procrastination. The intolerance of distress and the uncomfortable feeling of doing specific tasks, leading to take a more comfortable approach, is the central of procrastination problems. Moreover, tasks perceived as boring, difficult or demanding of greater effort, are said to make a person more likely to procrastinate.
In REBT, reducing irrational beliefs and increasing rational beliefs can reduce LFT. This cognitive restructuring allows a modification of dysfunctional thinking and acting, and allows people to change thoughts of great distress like:
· “Existing conditions must be changed to give me what I like, otherwise I can't stand it and I can't be happy at all!”
· "I must have immediate gratification and have to have it, or else I can't stand it and my life is awful"
· "I can't stand hassles"
Into more rational and less exaggerated thoughts like:
· "I don't like existing conditions"
· "I would like immediate gratification"
· "I find hassles and frustrations inconvenient"
The frustration discomfort scale (FDS), a multidimensional measure for LFT, was developed using REBT theories.
These dimensions were labelled in four categories:
- Emotional intolerance, involving intolerance of emotional distress.
- Entitlement,involving intolerance of unfairness and frustrated gratification.
- Discomfort intolerance, involving intolerance of difficulties and hassles.
- Achievement, involving intolerance of frustrated achievement goals.
- SAGE Books - Stress Counselling: A Rational Emotive Behaviour Approach. doi:10.4135/9781446217696.
- Justin, Garson (2015). "Two types of psychological hedonism". Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences: 7–14.
- Harrington, Neil (2005). "It�s too difficult! Frustration intolerance beliefs and procrastination". EL SEVIER: 873–883. replacement character in
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- Harrington, Neil (2005). "The Frustration Discomfort Scale: Development and Psychometric Properties". Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy: 374–387.