What makes tomorrow’s gain worth today’s pain?

Cognitive, motivational and affective influences in consumers’ self-control dilemmas

Authored by: Aparna A. Labroo , Anastasiya Pocheptsova

Routledge International Handbook of Consumer Psychology

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138846494
eBook ISBN: 9781315727448
Adobe ISBN: 9781317539940


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Consumers pursuing long-term goals often face choices that trade off immediate pleasure for long-term benefits. For example, consumers on a diet may have to choose between indulgent foods and healthier options, those on a budget between splurging and saving for more essential items and those committed to social welfare between work to improve society and fun. While the domains of these choices vary widely, they all have one thing in common: Consumers have to override the temptation to choose a momentarily alluring alternative in favour of an immediately less alluring one that instead facilitates pursuit of their long-term goals of health, financial stability or social welfare. All these choices thus pose a self-control dilemma for consumers engaged in the pursuit of long-term goals.

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