Abstract

This article investigates how temporal distance influences consumers’ self-control. We demonstrate that self-control is dependent on the content of currently active information in decisions for the future. When indulgence information is currently active, decisions for the future tend to be oriented toward self-control. When self-control information is currently active, decisions for the future tend to be oriented toward indulgence. In four experiments investigating two self-control domains (healthy eating and saving money), we find evidence for an information activation/inhibition account of the influence of temporal distance on self-control decisions.

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