Journal Article

Positive Mood and Resistance to Temptation: The Interfering Influence of Elevated Arousal

Alexander Fedorikhin and Vanessa M. Patrick

in Journal of Consumer Research

Volume 37, issue 4, pages 698-711
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0093-5301
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 1537-5277 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/655665
Positive Mood and Resistance to Temptation: The Interfering Influence of Elevated Arousal

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We investigate the interfering influence of elevated arousal on the impact of positive mood on resistance to temptation. Three studies demonstrate that when a temptation activates long-term health goals, baseline positive mood facilitates resistance to temptation in (1) the choice between two snack items, one of which is more unhealthy, sinful, and hard to resist (M&Ms) than the other (grapes) and (2) the monitoring of consumption when the sinful option is chosen. However, this influence is attenuated when positive mood is accompanied by elevated arousal. We demonstrate that the cognitive depletion that accompanies elevated arousal interferes with the self-regulatory focus of positive mood, decreasing resistance to temptation.

Journal Article.  11976 words.  Illustrated.

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