The "What the Hell Effect" Scale: Measuring Post-Failure Sequential Self-Control Choice Tendencies

Yael Zemack-Rugar, Virginia Tech, USA
Canan Corus, St. John's University, USA
David Brinberg, Virginia Tech, USA
We examine people’s tendencies to respond to initial self-regulation failure in subsequent choices, proposing that this (like other self-control characteristics) is an individual difference. We develop a scale that measures consumers’ propensity to respond to initial failure with goal-recommitment versus goal-abandonment; opting for goal-abandonment has been dubbed the “What The Hell Effect”. We identify two factors underlying the propensity to enact “The What the Hell Effect” (failure as permission, failure as motivation) and show that our scale predicts post-failure behavior above and beyond existing related measures.
[ to cite ]:
Yael Zemack-Rugar, Canan Corus, and David Brinberg (2010) ,"The "What the Hell Effect" Scale: Measuring Post-Failure Sequential Self-Control Choice Tendencies", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 143-145 .