Self-Regulation Over Long Periods of Time: Practicing a Controlled Activity Reduces Depletion of Self-Regulatory Resources

Kathleen Vohs, University of Minnesota
After consumers engage in self-control, they are less able to perform a second act of self-regulation presumably because they have expended precious self-regulatory resources. It is crucial to ask whether consumers who have been self-regulating over long periods of time show differential effects in terms of self-regulatory depletion as compared to consumers who have not been self-regulating for great lengths of time. Three experiments indicate that length of self-regulating renders regulation in that specific domain not as depleting it is to start a new regulatory endeavor. Being an experienced self-regulator is still, however, more depleting than not regulating whatsoever.
[ to cite ]:
Kathleen Vohs (2008) ,"Self-Regulation Over Long Periods of Time: Practicing a Controlled Activity Reduces Depletion of Self-Regulatory Resources", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 55-58.