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Exerting Self-Control ≠ Sacrificing Pleasure

Vosgerau, J., Scopelliti, I. ORCID: 0000-0001-6712-5332 & Huh, Y. E. (2020). Exerting Self-Control ≠ Sacrificing Pleasure. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 30(1), pp. 181-200. doi: 10.1002/jcpy.1142


Self-control is a prominent topic in consumer research, where it is often conceptualized as the abstinence from hedonic consumption. We examine whether this conceptualization accurately captures consumers’ experiences of self-control conflicts/failures in light of seminal self-control theories in economics and psychology. Rejecting that notion, we argue that self-control failures are choices in violation of super ordinate long-term goals accompanied by anticipated regret,rather than choices of hedonic over utilitarian consumption. This conceptualization has important methodological, theoretical, and practical implications. Methodologically, it highlights the need for experimental paradigms with higher construct validity. Theoretically, it helps elucidate how self-control is distinct from impatience and self-regulation. Practically, it provides a rich set of implications for deducing interventions on the individual and public policy level to help consumers exert self-control

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Vosgerau, J., Scopelliti, I. and Huh, Y.E. (2020), Exerting Self-Control ≠ Sacrificing Pleasure. J Consum Psychol, 30: 181-200, which is published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Publisher Keywords: self-control, hedonic consumption, goal conflict, vices and virtues, time-inconsistent preferences, anticipated regret, self-regulation, impatience, delay of gratification
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Self-Control JCP dialogue FINAL with WebAppendix.pdf]
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