Tricky treats: Paradoxical effects of temptation strength on self-regulation processes
Version of Record online: 29 JUL 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 41, Issue 3, pages 281–288, April 2011
How to Cite
Kroese, F. M., Evers, C. and De Ridder, D. T. D. (2011), Tricky treats: Paradoxical effects of temptation strength on self-regulation processes. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 41: 281–288. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.771
- Issue online: 28 MAR 2011
- Version of Record online: 29 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 JUN 2010
- Manuscript Received: 1 APR 2009
- The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)
This series of studies examined the effect of temptation strength on self-regulation processes in the context of eating behavior. Based on the critical level model, it was hypothesized that weak, rather than strong, temptations yield the most unfavorable conditions for effective self-regulation, because the negative consequences of the former are underestimated. In line with the assumptions of this model, Studies 1 and 2 showed that weak temptations inhibited the mental accessibility of the weight watching goal, in contrast to strong temptations. Study 3 showed that exposure to weak temptations lead to higher consumption in comparison to exposure to strong temptations. It is concluded that weak temptations, as compared to strong temptations, have an inhibiting effect on self-regulation processes and may therefore form a bigger threat for long-term goal attainment. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.