Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could learning self-control be enjoyable?

Date:
September 21, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
When it comes to self-control, consumers in the United States are in trouble. But a new study says there's hope; we just need a little help to see self-regulation as fun.

When it comes to self-control, consumers in the United States are in trouble. But a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research says there's hope; we just need a little help to see self-regulation as fun.

Related Articles


"Self-control failures depend on whether people see activities involving self-control (e.g., eating in moderate quantities) as an obligation to work or an opportunity to have fun," write authors Juliano Laran (University of Miami) and Chris Janiszewski (University of Florida, Gainesville).

According to the authors, approximately one in five U.S. citizens over the age of 12 admits to binge drinking at least once per month, and nearly 10 million people suffer from clinical eating disorders. These epidemics make it critical to examine what can be done to encourage people to regulate consumption.

In one study, the researchers asked participants to hold pieces of candy between their fingers, and put it in their mouths and then take it out. "The goal of this task was to let people perform tasks with the candy but not be able to actually eat the candy," the authors explain.

Once the participants completed the initial tasks they moved on to taking unrelated surveys. But the candy was left on their desks without instruction as to whether they could eat it or not. The researchers measured how much candy the participants consumed and measured how much self-control the participants usually exerted. "We found that participants who are usually high in self-control perceived the initial candy task -- which involved touching, but not eating Skittles and M&Ms -- as an opportunity to have fun (they were playing with candy)," the authors write. "Participants who are usually low in self-control, however, perceived the initial candy task as an obligation to work."

Both low and high self-control individuals showed self-control success in a similar study where the word "fun" was included in the instructions for the initial task. "These results show that low self-control people can be made to act like high self-control people and show regulatory success if tasks that involve exerting self-control are framed in a way that people will perceive it as fun and not work," the authors conclude.


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. Juliano Laran and Chris Janiszewski. Work or Fun? How Task Construal and Completion Influence Regulatory Behavior. Journal of Consumer Research, April 2011 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Could learning self-control be enjoyable?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920172744.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, September 21). Could learning self-control be enjoyable?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920172744.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Could learning self-control be enjoyable?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920172744.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. 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:

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