Remi Trudel: Why Didn't I Think of That? Self-Regulation through Selective Information Processing

In this paper, we present an information processing model of self-regulation. The model predicts [...]that consumers with an active self-regulatory goal will tend to focus on the cost (rather than the pleasure) of consumption and, as a result, they are better able to control their behavior. In contrast to prior research, the authors find that consumers with an active goal are most vulnerable to self-regulatory failure when the object of desire is farther away from them (in either time or space); because as the distance increases they focus less on the costs of consumption. Finally, results indicate that if product information is not externally available (i.e.,it has to be recalled from memory) people are more likely to focus on pleasure and fail at self-regulation. The results are robust across four experiments using a variety of stimuli, goal primes, and information processing measures.

Tags: faculty, boston university, research, School of Management, faculty research day

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