Automatic Evaluations and Self-Control

Darlene Walsh, University of Toronto, Canada
Andrew Mitchell, University of Toronto, Canada
We examine the relationship between automatic goal activation, automatic evaluation toward diet goals and temptation both before and during exposure to a temptation. In addition, we measure consumption of the temptation when participants are under a low or high cognitive load. We find that participants who activate a diet goal during exposure to a temptation have an automatic positive evaluation of the diet goal and that the cognitive load manipulation does not affect their consumption. While these participants had an automatic positive evaluation of the temptation before being exposed to it, during exposure their automatic evaluation was neutral. Participants who did not automatically activate a diet goal during exposure to the temptation did not have an automatic positive evaluation of the goal; however they did have an automatic positive evaluation of the temptation and there was a significant positive correlation between the strength of the automatic evaluation and consumption of the temptation.
[ to cite ]:
Darlene Walsh and Andrew Mitchell (2007) ,"Automatic Evaluations and Self-Control", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 272-275.