Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Learning Curve: Tricks To Resist Temptation

Date:
March 31, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Here's good news for dieters who face food challenges in the break room every day: A new study shows that our resistance gets a boost after we've just been exposed to similar temptations.

Here's good news for dieters who face food challenges in the break room every day: A new study shows that our resistance gets a boost after we've just been exposed to similar temptations.

"The threat of overconsumption is a real one for many of us. It is all too easy to eat or spend too much, and many others struggle with their desire to smoke or to drink alcohol or to take another pain killer," write authors Siegfried Dewitte, Sabrina Bruyneel (both K.U.Leuven), and Kelly Geyskens (Maastricht University, The Netherlands).

In the course of their research, the authors found that in situations when self-control is repeatedly tested, a defense strategy that works for a first temptation can be used to tackle the next.

"In a first study we showed that, consistent with common intuition, people performed worse at a difficult mental game than a control group if they had just attempted to control the content of their thoughts. However, those who had just engaged in a similar difficult mental game performed better than a control group," the authors write.

In a second study, the authors exposed participants to candies, which they were not supposed to eat. "Being exposed to candies without eating them indeed led to worse performance on a subsequent self-regulation task, but it also led to better regulation of candy consumption in a follow-up situation," the authors explain.

A third study exposed participants to a series of consumption choices. In each set of choices, there was one option that required more self-control than the other. For example, some participants had to choose between waiting two weeks for a discounted video game versus purchasing one at full price immediately. After the series of choices, they engaged in a final set of choices that were either different or similar to their previous ones.

"It turned out that participants became better at self-regulating their choices if they had been exposed to similar options before," the authors write. "Together these studies demonstrate that although our resistance to temptation indeed wears out when we receive a series of different temptations, as common wisdom has it, our resistance gets a boost when we have just been exposed to a similar temptation."


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. Dewitte et al. Self-regulating Enhances Self-regulation in Subsequent Consumer Decisions Involving Similar Response Conflicts. Journal of Consumer Research, 2009; 090320143925084 DOI: 10.1086/598615

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Learning Curve: Tricks To Resist Temptation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331112731.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, March 31). Learning Curve: Tricks To Resist Temptation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331112731.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Learning Curve: Tricks To Resist Temptation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331112731.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Newsy (July 17, 2014) Washington D.C.'s new laws decriminalizing small amount of marijuana went into effect Thursday. Here's how they work. 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