Temptation over time: Delays help

Patrick DeJarnette, Waseda University

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, September 2020

Abstract: Does temptation decline over time? Recent studies have highlighted the importance of Pavlovian processes but less is known about how these responses change over time. In a laboratory experiment, every subject made a choice between a banana and chocolate, but a treatment group was informed in advance about the existence of the upcoming choice. These treated subjects were 28% more likely to ultimately choose a banana. Testing an alternative hypothesis of limited willpower, I find no evidence of a simple resource depletion effect using previously induced effort.

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