Self-Regulating Enhances Self-Regulation in Subsequent Consumer Decisions Involving Similar Response Conflicts

S. Dewitte*, K. Bruyneel, K. Geyskens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

79 Citations (Web of Science)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-405
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue numberOctober
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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