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.

Related Articles


"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 January 26, 2015 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 January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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