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Willpower depletion and framing effects

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  • de Haan, Thomas
  • van Veldhuizen, Roel
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    Abstract

    We investigate whether depleting people's cognitive resources (or willpower) affects the degree to which they are susceptible to framing effects. Recent research in social psychology and economics has suggested that willpower is a resource that can be temporarily depleted and that a depleted level of willpower is associated with self-control problems in a variety of contexts. In this study, we extend the willpower depletion paradigm to framing effects and argue that willpower depletion should increase framing effects. To test this we designed two experiments in which we depleted participants' willpower and subsequently had them take part in a series of tasks, including a framed prisoner's dilemma, an attraction effect task, a compromise effect task, and an anchoring task. However, we find no evidence that framing effects were indeed more prevalent in willpower-depleted participants than in controls. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior with number SP II 2013-206.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmbh:spii2013206

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    Keywords: willpower; ego depletion; framing; willpower depletion; experiment; behavioral economics;

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    1. Alessandro Bucciol & Daniel Houser & Marco Piovesan, 2010. "Willpower in children and adults: a survey of results and economic implications," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 259-267, September.
    2. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," IZA Discussion Papers 2735, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
    4. Huber, Joel & Payne, John W & Puto, Christopher, 1982. " Adding Asymmetrically Dominated Alternatives: Violations of Regularity and the Similarity Hypothesis," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 90-98, June.
    5. Kaisa Herne, 1999. "The Effects of Decoy Gambles on Individual Choice," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 31-40, August.
    6. Simonson, Itamar, 1989. " Choice Based on Reasons: The Case of Attraction and Compromise Effects," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 158-74, September.
    7. Dan Ariely & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. ""Coherent Arbitrariness": Stable Demand Curves Without Stable Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 73-105, February.
    8. Emre Ozdenoren & Stephen W. Salant & Dan Silverman, 2012. "Willpower And The Optimal Control Of Visceral Urges," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 342-368, 04.
    9. Mead, N.L. & Baumeister, R.F. & Gino, F. & Schweitzer, M.E. & Ariely, D., 2009. "Too tired to tell the truth: Self-control resource depletion and dishonesty," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3557352, Tilburg University.
    10. Burger, Nicholas & Charness, Gary & Lynham, John, 2011. "Field and online experiments on self-control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 393-404, March.
    11. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 2002. "How Much Is Investor Autonomy Worth?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1593-1616, 08.
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