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Medicineworld.org: Candy bar or healthy snack?

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Candy bar or healthy snack?




If you think choosing between a candy bar and healthy snack is totally a matter of free will, think again. A newly released study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that the choices we make to indulge ourselves or exercise self-control depend on how the choices are presented.

Author Juliano Laran (University of Miami) tested subjects to determine how certain words and concepts affected consumers' decisions for self-control or indulgence. He observed that consumer choices were affected by the actions most recently suggested to them by certain key words.



Candy bar or healthy snack?

The tests involved a word-scramble containing words that suggested either indulgence ("weight") or self-control ("delicious"). "Participants who unscrambled sentences linked to self-control were more likely to choose a healthy snack (a granola bar) to be consumed right now, but an indulgent snack (a chocolate bar) to be consumed in the future," writes Laran. Participants who unscrambled sentences linked to indulgence were more likely to choose an indulgent snack to be consumed right now but a healthy snack to be consumed in the future".

A second study examined the same phenomenon, but it involved information linked to saving versus spending money. Again, when information about saving money was active (participants had been exposed to words linked to saving money), participants said that they imagined themselves trying to save money while shopping in the present, but spending a lot of money while shopping in the future. When words about spending money were suggested, the study showed the opposite result.

"The type of information (self-control or indulgence) that is currently active may influence a decision for the future," write Laran. "When information about self-control (indulgence) is currently active, decisions for the present will be virtuous (indulgent), while decisions for the future will be indulgent (virtuous). This result arises from people's need to balance behaviors performed in the present with behaviors that will be performed in the future."

Both marketers and consumers can benefit from being aware of these effects, Laran concludes.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
If you think choosing between a candy bar and healthy snack is totally a matter of free will, think again. A newly released study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that the choices we make to indulge ourselves or exercise self-control depend on how the choices are presented.

Medicineworld.org: Candy bar or healthy snack?

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