Ran Kivetz

Determinants of Justification and Self-Control

Coauthor(s): Yuhuang Zheng.

The authors propose that people use 2 routes in justifying self-gratification: 1st through hard work or excellence (entitlement) and the 2nd through the attainment of vices without depleting income. This framework was tested using real tasks and choices adopted from prior research on self-control. The results indicate that (a) higher effort and (bogus) excellence feedback increase preferences for vice rewards, but these effects are reversed or attenuated when the interchangeability of effort and income is implied; (b) willingness to pay in effort is greater for vices than virtues, but willingness to pay in income is higher for virtues; and (c) these effects are magnified among individuals with stronger (chronic or manipulated) guilt. The authors discuss the ability of the justification routes to explain the findings of prior self-control research.

Source: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
Exact Citation:
Kivetz, Ran, and Yuhuang Zheng. "Determinants of Justification and Self-Control." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 135, no. 4 (November 2006): 572-587.
Volume: 135
Number: 4
Pages: 572-587
Date: 11 2006