Experiential Social Effects and Self-Control

Often products are chosen by an individual, but consumed together with other people. This article explores the influence of social consumption on individuals’ ability to exercise self-control. We introduce the concept of “experiential social effects” and demonstrate that people choose pleasure more often when the options are consumed socially than privately. We demonstrate that social indulgence results from the following two separate effects: (1) Individuals perceive others to be more pleasure oriented, but less self-controlled, than they actually are, and adjust their choices in the direction of these false perceptions, and (2) sharing the pleasure with others increases its utility.


Sema Barlas and Onur Bodur (2007) ,"Experiential Social Effects and Self-Control", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Stefania Borghini, Mary Ann McGrath, and Cele Otnes, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.


Sema Barlas, McGill University, Canada
Onur Bodur, Concordia University, Canada


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2007

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Cues to Sincerity: How People Assess and Convey Sincerity in Language

Alixandra Barasch, New York University, USA
Juliana Schroeder, University of California Berkeley, USA
Jonathan Zev Berman, London Business School, UK
Deborah Small, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Read More


Hindsight Value: Failed Transactions Inform Willingness to Pay

Masha Ksendzova, Boston University, USA
Carey K. Morewedge, Boston University, USA
Dan Ariely, Duke University, USA

Read More


Too Much of a Good Thing? Consumer Response to Changes in Brand Essence

Tarje Gaustad, Kristiania University College
Bendik Samuelsen, BI Norwegian Business School
Luk Warlop, Norwegian School of Management, Norway
Gavan Fitzsimons, Duke University, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.