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Temptation at work

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Author Info

  • Alessandro Bucciol

    (University of Verona)

  • Daniel Houser

    (George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.)

  • Marco Piovesan

    ()
    (Harvard Business School)

Abstract

To encourage worker productivity offices prohibit Internet use. Consequently, many employees delay Internet activity to the end of the workday. Recent work in social psychology, however, suggests that using willpower to delay gratification can negatively impact performance. We report data from an experiment where subjects in a Willpower Treatment are asked to resist the temptation to join others in watching a humorous video for 10 minutes. In relation to a baseline treatment that does not require willpower, we show that resisting this temptation detrimentally impacts economic productivity on a subsequent task.

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File URL: http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/11-090.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 11-090.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:11-090

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Related research

Keywords: temptation; willpower; lab experiment.;

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References

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  1. Bucciol, Alessandro & Houser, Daniel & Piovesan, Marco, 2011. "Temptation and productivity: A field experiment with children," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 126-136.
  2. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. On banning Youtube at work
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-04-14 14:11:00
  2. All I want is the internet
    by fiveminuteeconomist in Five Minute Economist on 2011-03-06 20:54:34
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Cited by:
  1. Michael A. Kuhn & Peter Kuhn & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "The Importance of the Cognitive Environment for Intertemporal Choice," Working Papers 1316, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  2. Shantanu Bagchi, 2011. "Can overconfidence explain the consumption hump?," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 41-70, January.
  3. Buechel, Berno & Mechtenberg, Lydia & Petersen, Julia, 2014. "Peer Effects and Students’ Self-Control," MPRA Paper 53658, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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  1. Economic Logic blog

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