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Abstract

Individuals who have failed at self-control are often the targets of negative social judgments. We suggest that in some circumstances, individual differences in lay theories regarding self-control may help account for these reactions. Specifically, people may believe that the ability to exert self-control is either a fixed quantity (entity theory) or a malleable quantity (incremental theory), and these beliefs may influence their social judgments. In the current investigation, we found that whether lay theories of self-control were measured or manipulated, entity views of self-control predicted more negative judgments about a target whose self-control failure was made salient.