Enhancing Self-Control Through Future Consequence Elaboration

Kelly Haws, Texas A&M University, USA
Gergana Nenkov, Boston College, USA
Elaborating on potential outcomes of one’s behaviors can be used as a self-control strategy. In three studies we draw consumers’ attention to the future consequences of their present behavior by providing them with cues about the potential outcomes of a behavior or asking them to elaborate on the outcomes. We find that adopting a decision strategy that differs from the way that consumers naturally think about self-control issues alters their self-control behavior, which is beneficial for consumers inherently low in self-control, but could actually be harmful for those inherently high in self-control. Furthermore, we find that not all types of outcome elaboration are beneficial for promoting effective self-control.
[ to cite ]:
Kelly Haws and Gergana Nenkov (2010) ,"Enhancing Self-Control Through Future Consequence Elaboration", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 204-206 .