Self‐Regulating Enhances Self‐Regulation in Subsequent Consumer Decisions Involving Similar Response Conflicts
Ego depletion, the observation that self‐regulation reduces subsequent self‐regulation, is a remarkably robust phenomenon, and the generalization to the consumer domain appears undisputable. Contrary to most other self‐regulatory situations, however, consecutive self‐regulatory decisions in consumer settings tend to be similar in the control processes that they recruit. Three experiments demonstrate the pivotal role of similarity. When two consecutive self‐regulatory situations require similar control processes (e.g., restraining food intake), initial engagement in self‐regulation enhances subsequent self‐regulation. Our data thus challenge the self‐regulatory strength model of (consumer) self‐regulatory decision making but are consistent with cognitive control theory.
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