Abstract

Volitional behaviors can be construed as “work” (extrinsically motivated) or as “fun” (intrinsically motivated). When volitional behaviors are construed as an obligation to work, completing the behavior depletes a consumer, and subsequent self-control becomes more difficult. When volitional behaviors are construed as an opportunity to have fun, completing the behavior vitalizes a consumer, and subsequent self-control becomes easier. Six studies show how individual differences and contextual factors influence the construal of a task, the motivation for completing it, and subsequent regulatory behavior.

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