Be Better Or Be Merry: How Mood Affects Self-Control

Ayelet Fishbach, University of Chicago, USA
Aparna A. Labroo, University of Chicago, USA
We explore whether the effect of mood on self-control success depends on a person’s accessible goal. Positive mood signals to adopt an accessible goal, whereas negative mood signals to reject an accessible goal; therefore, happy (vs. neutral or unhappy) people perform better on self-control tasks when they are primed with a self-improvement goal because self-control tasks are compatible with self-improvement. Conversely, happy people abstain from self-control tasks when they are primed with a mood management goal because self-control tasks are incompatible with this goal. This pattern receives consistent support across several self-control tasks (e.g., donating to charity, seeking negative feedback).
[ to cite ]:
Ayelet Fishbach and Aparna A. Labroo (2007) ,"Be Better Or Be Merry: How Mood Affects Self-Control", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 585-586.