When Behaving Bad Is Good: Self-Regulation Enhancement By Strategic Goal-Deviation in Consumption

Rita Coelho do Vale, Tilburg University
Rik Pieters, Tilburg University
Marcel Zeelenberg, Tilburg University

When Behaving Bad is Good: Self-Regulatory Enhancement by Strategic Goal Deviation in Consumption

Rita Coelho do Vale, Tilburg University

Rik Pieters, Tilburg University

Marcel Zeelenberg, Tilburg University

 

SHORT ABSTRACT

Do we always need to perform behaviors that bring the goal that we are striving for closer, in order to eventually attain it? We propose that for goals that require inhibitory behaviors over extended periods of time, such as in weight loss, training, and saving, it may be beneficial to temporarily not only abstain from goal pursuit, but actually to perform behavior that runs counter to the overarching focal goal, but which allows the replenishment of self-regulatory resources, increasing goal-attainment likelihood. Results from five studies revealed that when consumers follow intermittent sets of regulatory activities about which they have prior knowledge, they show lower ego-depletion, higher motivation for goal-pursuit and higher coping ability.
[ to cite ]:
Rita Coelho do Vale, Rik Pieters, and Marcel Zeelenberg (2006) ,"When Behaving Bad Is Good: Self-Regulation Enhancement By Strategic Goal-Deviation in Consumption", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 332-333.