"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.
Juliano Laran and Chris Janiszewski. "Work or Fun? How Task Construal and Completion Influence Regulatory Behavior." Journal of Consumer Research: April 2011. A preprint of this article (to be officially published online soon) can be found at http://journals.uchicago.edu/jcr.
Mary-Ann Twist | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy