Why we like to indulge ourselves after a hard day’s work

January 19th, 2011 - 3:36 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 19 (ANI): Why is it that the thought of eating at a great restaurant after a hard day’s work seems really tempting? A new study tells you why.

Echo Wen Wan (University of Hong Kong) and Nidhi Agrawal (Northwestern University) revealed that people who are tired from a demanding task tend to pass up the most desirable choices and go for options that seem to have attractive low-level features.

“After a depleting task people were more likely to pass up the option that was most desirable, widest in scope, and best in primary traits and instead chose the option with lower-level features,” the authors write.

“When we feel fresh it’s relatively easy for us to focus on the primary features of a product, consider the outcome of a choice, and value the long-term benefits of an action,” the authors explain.

“However when we feel depleted from exerting self-control, we start to attend to the non-central minor aspects, think about how feasible it is to engage in the choice, and sometimes emphasize short-term rewards.”

The study also found that participants could be prompted to think at higher levels. In one experiment, depleted individuals chose an art exhibit that was convenient. But when they were primed to think at a higher level, they chose the exhibit by an artist they liked.

The study appears in the Journal of Consumer Research. (ANI)

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