Why One Can’T Stop Looking At That Temptation: Dynamics of Attentional Biases in Self-Control Dilemmas

Two studies examine the role of attentional biases for indulgences among impulsive and non-impulsive people in explaining consumption behavior. Using a visual probe task, the studies examine whether attentional biases for temptations emerge in the form of initial orienting towards the temptation or an inability to disengage from it. Further, I investigate whether these biases affect the incidence and extent of impulsive behavior. Results show that while impulsive people exhibit both forms of bias towards tempting stimuli, it is their inability to disengage attention from such temptations that drives the extent to which they subsequently indulge themselves. In a second study, I provide additional evidence for the process by showing that such attentional biases are reflected in more intense approach reactions towards temptations.


Suresh Ramanathan (2009) ,"Why One Can’T Stop Looking At That Temptation: Dynamics of Attentional Biases in Self-Control Dilemmas", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 146-149.


Suresh Ramanathan, University of Chicago, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Uncertain Reward Campaigns Impact Product Size Choices

Nükhet Taylor, York University, Canada
Theodore J. Noseworthy, York University, Canada
Ethan Pancer, Saint Mary's University

Read More


C10. Beyond Self-control: A Field Exploration of the Interactive Effect between Cue-induced and Prospective Decision Making on Long-term Weight Loss

Wanyu Li, McGill University, Canada
Laurette Dube, McGill University, Canada
Yu Ma, McGill University, Canada

Read More


M9. Exploring Historical Nostalgia and its Relevance to Consumer Research

Matthew Farmer, University of Arizona, USA
Caleb Warren, University of Arizona, 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.