Building Character: Effects of Lay Theories of Self-Control on the Selection of Products For Children

Anirban Mukhopadhyay, University of Michigan
Catherine Yeung, National University of Singapore, Singapore
This research studies the effect of consumers’ lay theories of self-control on their choices of products for young children. Four experiments demonstrate that people who believe that self-control is a limited resource that can be increased over time (i.e., limited-malleable theorists) are more likely to try and teach children to improve their self-control. Limited-malleable theorists take their children less frequently to fast food restaurants, allow them fewer unhealthy snacks, and prefer educational to entertaining television programs for them. They also prefer gifts that teach delayed gratification by delivering greater value in the long- than the short-term.
[ to cite ]:
Anirban Mukhopadhyay and Catherine Yeung (2008) ,"Building Character: Effects of Lay Theories of Self-Control on the Selection of Products For Children", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 93-96.