Temptations are good for you

September 16th, 2008 - 11:34 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 16 (IANS) Temptations, which test human will, might end up doing some good because they actually increase moderation, according to the latest study, particularly in case of consumers who have shown greater self-control after spending some time in the presence of a treat.Authors Kelly Geyskens, Siegfried DeWitte, Mario Pandelaere and Luk Warlop of the Catholic University, Belgium, conducted a series of studies where they created temptations for participants.

“In three experimental studies, we demonstrate that “actionability” (opportunity to consume temptation) of the prior food temptation is the pivotal variable,” explained the authors.

“It appears that the self-control strategies that are marshalled to deal with the conflict in the previous tempting situation linger into the subsequent temptation situation, and hence helps consumers to control their food intake.”

According to the authors, previous studies have not distinguished between actionable and non-actionable temptations - ones where the person can actually consume the item against ones where the person sees or smells the tempting item but cannot physically consume it.

The researchers compared various situations - including putting participants in a room filled with the aroma of fresh-baked brownies - and found that they were best able to control their eating when the temptation was real.

“The results of the three studies imply that tempting consumers with real food may help them to restrict their food intake on a subsequent consumption opportunity” the authors wrote.

The study is scheduled for publication in the December issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

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