Ego depletion, the observation that self-regulation reduces subsequent self-regulation, is a remarkably robust phenomenon, and the generalization to the consumer domain appears undisputable. Contrary to most other self-regulatory situations, however, consecutive self-regulatory decisions in consumer settings tend to be similar in the control processes that they recruit. Three experiments demonstrate the pivotal role of similarity. When two consecutive self-regulatory situations require similar control processes (e.g., restraining food intake), initial engagement in self-regulation enhances subsequent self-regulation. Our data thus challenge the self-regulatory strength model of (consumer) self-regulatory decision making but are consistent with cognitive control theory.
Dewitte, S., Bruyneel, K., & Geyskens, K. (2009). Self-Regulating Enhances Self-Regulation in Subsequent Consumer Decisions Involving Similar Response Conflicts. Journal of Consumer Research, 36(October), 394-405. https://doi.org/10.1086/598615