Beating Back That Triple-Chocolate Cake: Mental Accounts As Instruments of Self-Regulation

People are often unable to say “no” to actions that they would like to say “no” to. Such instances of goal-behavior inconsistency represent failures of self-regulation (Heatherton and Baumeister, 1996). In this research, we posit that mental accounts (Thaler, 1980; Tversky and Kahneman, 1981) will lead to improved self-regulation because they possess all three factors suggested by Baumeister (2002) as requirements for effective self-control, i.e., clear standards, effective monitoring, and capacity. Two studies show that mental accounts increase decision efficiency, and improve self-control when combined with a task that is compatible with the goal of limiting consumption.


Parthasarathy Krishnamurthy and Sonja Prokopec (2007) ,"Beating Back That Triple-Chocolate Cake: Mental Accounts As Instruments of Self-Regulation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 713-714.


Parthasarathy Krishnamurthy, University of Houston, USA
Sonja Prokopec, University of Houston, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

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