Licensing indulgence in the present by distorting memories of past behavior

Frank May, Caglar Irmak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the face of an opportunity to indulge, individuals may consult their memories in order to ascertain whether enough progress has been made toward a self-regulatory goal in order to justify indulgence. This research demonstrates that in such situations, impulsive individuals who possess a regulatory goal are likely to distort memories of past behavior, manufacturing goal progress in order to license indulgence in the present. In four studies, this effect is demonstrated in the domains of eating, spending, and studying, and alternative processes are ruled out. Furthermore, it is shown that perceptions of goal progress drive impulsive (vs. nonimpulsive) people’s greater likelihood of engaging in behavior inconsistent with their regulatory goal. These findings provide insights into the domains of goal pursuit, impulsivity, and memory distortion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-641
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

Fingerprint

present
eating behavior
license
manufacturing
Licensing
Indulgence
Pursuit
Manufacturing
Impulsivity
License

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

Cite this

Licensing indulgence in the present by distorting memories of past behavior. / May, Frank; Irmak, Caglar.

In: Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 41, No. 3, 01.10.2014, p. 624-641.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{683e198af8b6489e8faa394732f34107,
title = "Licensing indulgence in the present by distorting memories of past behavior",
abstract = "In the face of an opportunity to indulge, individuals may consult their memories in order to ascertain whether enough progress has been made toward a self-regulatory goal in order to justify indulgence. This research demonstrates that in such situations, impulsive individuals who possess a regulatory goal are likely to distort memories of past behavior, manufacturing goal progress in order to license indulgence in the present. In four studies, this effect is demonstrated in the domains of eating, spending, and studying, and alternative processes are ruled out. Furthermore, it is shown that perceptions of goal progress drive impulsive (vs. nonimpulsive) people’s greater likelihood of engaging in behavior inconsistent with their regulatory goal. These findings provide insights into the domains of goal pursuit, impulsivity, and memory distortion.",
author = "Frank May and Caglar Irmak",
year = "2014",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1086/676981",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "41",
pages = "624--641",
journal = "Journal of Consumer Research",
issn = "0093-5301",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Licensing indulgence in the present by distorting memories of past behavior

AU - May, Frank

AU - Irmak, Caglar

PY - 2014/10/1

Y1 - 2014/10/1

N2 - In the face of an opportunity to indulge, individuals may consult their memories in order to ascertain whether enough progress has been made toward a self-regulatory goal in order to justify indulgence. This research demonstrates that in such situations, impulsive individuals who possess a regulatory goal are likely to distort memories of past behavior, manufacturing goal progress in order to license indulgence in the present. In four studies, this effect is demonstrated in the domains of eating, spending, and studying, and alternative processes are ruled out. Furthermore, it is shown that perceptions of goal progress drive impulsive (vs. nonimpulsive) people’s greater likelihood of engaging in behavior inconsistent with their regulatory goal. These findings provide insights into the domains of goal pursuit, impulsivity, and memory distortion.

AB - In the face of an opportunity to indulge, individuals may consult their memories in order to ascertain whether enough progress has been made toward a self-regulatory goal in order to justify indulgence. This research demonstrates that in such situations, impulsive individuals who possess a regulatory goal are likely to distort memories of past behavior, manufacturing goal progress in order to license indulgence in the present. In four studies, this effect is demonstrated in the domains of eating, spending, and studying, and alternative processes are ruled out. Furthermore, it is shown that perceptions of goal progress drive impulsive (vs. nonimpulsive) people’s greater likelihood of engaging in behavior inconsistent with their regulatory goal. These findings provide insights into the domains of goal pursuit, impulsivity, and memory distortion.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84906978275&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84906978275&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/676981

DO - 10.1086/676981

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84906978275

VL - 41

SP - 624

EP - 641

JO - Journal of Consumer Research

JF - Journal of Consumer Research

SN - 0093-5301

IS - 3

ER -