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Counteractive self-control: When making temptation available makes temptation less tempting

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Publication details

JournalPsychological Science
DatePublished - 1 Feb 2009
Issue number2
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)159-163
Original languageEnglish


We propose a self-control analysis of the role of availability in valuation. We explored the hypothesis that, when temptation becomes available, counteractive self-control processes render it less valuable. We found evidence for devaluation of available temptation among gym users before they choose to forgo an unhealthy snack rather than after they make their choice (Study 1), and among students evaluating leisure activities when their decision to enroll in an uninteresting class is reversible rather than irreversible (Study 2).

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