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Counteractive Construal in Consumer Goal Pursuit

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  • Ying Zhang
  • Szu-chi Huang
  • Susan M. Broniarczyk
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    Abstract

    The present research explores a self-control operation, namely, counteractive construal, that helps consumers resolve the conflicts between an important goal and a short-term temptation by altering the construal of the temptation. We propose that when experiencing a self-control conflict, consumers intentionally construe temptation as more damaging to the attainment of a long-term goal and use these distorted construals to help resolve the conflict in favor of the goals. Four studies in two self-regulatory domains (a dieting goal and an academic goal) provided converging evidence for the counteractive construal hypothesis. We found that people who were experiencing self-control conflict expected tempting food items to contain more calories or expected parties to take more time away from studying and were consequently less interested in consuming these temptations. (c) 2009 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

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    File URL: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/649912
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (06)
    Pages: 129-142

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:37:y:2010:i:1:p:129-142

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/

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    Cited by:
    1. Dewitte, Siegfried, 2013. "From willpower breakdown to the breakdown of the willpower model – The symmetry of self-control and impulsive behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 16-25.
    2. Tsvetan Tsvetanov & Kathleen Segerson, 2011. "Re-Evaluating the Role of Energy Efficiency Standards: A Time-Consistent Behavioral Economics Approach," Working Papers 07, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    3. Tsvetanov, Tsvetan & Segerson, Kathleen, 2013. "Re-evaluating the role of energy efficiency standards: A behavioral economics approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 347-363.
    4. Berg, Nathan & Kim, Jeong-Yoo, 2010. "Demand for Self Control: A model of Consumer Response to Programs and Products that Moderate Consumption," MPRA Paper 26593, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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