Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Look Before You Leap: New Study Examines Self-control

Date:
June 2, 2008
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Reckless decision-making can lead to dire consequences when it comes to food, credit cards, or savings. What's the key to making good decisions? A new study outlines a novel method for measuring people's abilities to consider the consequences of their actions. It also provides hope for consumers who want to make more prudent decisions.

Reckless decision-making can lead to dire consequences when it comes to food, credit cards, or savings. What’s the key to making good decisions? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research outlines a novel method for measuring people’s abilities to consider the consequences of their actions. It also provides hope for consumers who want to make more prudent decisions.

Authors Gergana Y. Nenkov (Boston College), J. Jeffrey Inman, and John Hulland (both University of Pittsburgh) developed a 13-question survey that rated participants on a scale called the Elaboration on Potential Outcomes (EPO) scale. The scale proved to be a reliable measure of how much participants considered the consequences of their actions. For example, when undergraduates considered whether to get LASIK surgery or whether to charge an expensive electronics item on an already heavily charged credit card, high EPO scores were associated with more consequence-related thoughts.

In a number of settings, researchers found that consumers who think about the pros and cons before making decisions reported that they were more likely to exercise and consume healthy foods. They had lower rates of alcohol abuse, procrastination, and overspending. They were also more likely to be saving money for retirement.

The good news, according to the authors, is that people who aren’t inclined to consider the consequences of their actions can be aided by simple interventions, like brochures and advertising that encourage them to think about the dangers of obesity or the benefits of saving for retirement. Scare tactics, it seems, were the most effective. “The consideration of negative consequences has a bigger impact than the consideration of positive consequences,” the authors write.

“The importance of studying consumers’ self-control is widely recognized, since being unable to regulate one’s emotions, impulses, actions and thoughts creates problems, not only for individual consumers, but also for society as a whole,” write the authors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gergana Y. Nenkov, J. Jeffrey Inman, and John Hulland. Considering the Future: The Conceptualization and Measurement of Elaboration on Potential Outcomes. Journal of Consumer Research, June 2008

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Look Before You Leap: New Study Examines Self-control." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080530132101.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2008, June 2). Look Before You Leap: New Study Examines Self-control. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080530132101.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Look Before You Leap: New Study Examines Self-control." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080530132101.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins