Twice the Vice

Lauren Trabold, Baruch College, CUNY Graduate Center, USA
Lauren Block, Baruch College, USA
Extant literature has often studied consumer goal pursuit, particularly in the area of self-control. This stream of research has frequently examined the pattern of consumer behavior when a person is faced with a choice between a goal-consistent and a goal-inconsistent option. The current study seeks to extend this literature by observing how consumers will make a decision when they are not given an opportunity to behave consistently with their goal. Specifically, we observe the way that consumers will utilize different decision strategies to make a choice when faced with two equally goal-inconsistent options (e.g., a consumer with a health goal faced with a choice between two decadent desserts). Our study provides an interesting account in which consumers are able to minimize their guilt in the face of imminent self-control goal failure by using the decision strategy of rejection (vs. selection), ultimately resulting in the counterintuitive choice of a less preferred, yet equally goal inconsistent option.
[ to cite ]:
Lauren Trabold and Lauren Block (2011) ,"Twice the Vice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 765.