The analytical technique of reducing a problem or phenomenon into its parts is a foundation of western civilization. It leads to conclusions that are sometimes marketable, often simplistic, and usually miss the greater meaning.
The folks at Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge for Business Leaders talked to Rogers and Milman about their behavioral research into our various personas:
"People often behave as if they possess multiple selves with different, competing interests. We call 2 of these metaphorical selves the "want-self" and the "should-self."
"The want-self is myopic and desires instant gratification. If left to its own devices, the want-self would always act on immediate, visceral desires (e.g., spending instead of saving money, eating junk food instead of health food). The should-self, on the other hand, prefers to behave in a way that will maximize long-run benefits. If left to its own devices, the should-self would always act on behalf of an individual's long-term best interests (e.g., saving money or donating it to a good cause instead of spending frivolously, eating health food instead of junk food)."
Link to HBS Interview by Sarah Jane Gilbert, Understanding the 'Want' vs. 'Should' Decision
Working paper authors: Todd Rogers and Katy Milkman