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 (non-impulsive) people in explaining consumption behavior. Using a visual probe task, I examine whether attentional biases for temptations emerge as initial orienting towards temptations or inability to disengage from it. Further, I investigate whether these biases affect impulsive behavior. Results show that while impulsive people exhibit both forms of bias towards temptations, their inability to disengage attention is what drives the extent to which they indulge. A second study provides additional evidence 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 AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Sridhar Samu, Rajiv Vaidyanathan, and Dipankar Chakravarti, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 118-120.


Suresh Ramanathan, University of Chicago, USA


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2009

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