Counteractive Construal in Consumer Goal Pursuit

The present research explores a self-control operation, namely counteractive construal, that helps consumers resolve the conflicts between an important goal and a short-term temptation by altering the construal of the temptation. We propose that when experiencing a self-control conflict, consumers intentionally construe temptation as more damaging to the attainment of a long-term goal, and use these distorted construals to help resolve the conflict in favor of the goals. Four studies in two self-regulatory domains (dieting goal and academic goal) provided converging evidence for the counteractive construal hypothesis. We found that people who were experiencing self-control conflict expected tempting food items to contain more calories, or expected parties to take more time away from studying, and were consequently less interested in consuming these temptations.


Ying Zhang, Szu-Chi Huang, and Susan Broniarczyk (2010) ,"Counteractive Construal in Consumer Goal Pursuit", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 940-942 .


Ying Zhang, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Szu-Chi Huang, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Susan Broniarczyk, University of Texas at Austin, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010

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