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Should Birds of a Feather Flock Together? Understanding Self-Control Decisions in Dyads

Hristina Dzhogleva and Cait Poynor Lamberton

Journal of Consumer Research, 2014, vol. 41, issue 2, 361 - 380

Abstract: Can we rely on our high self-control friends to help us make better joint spending and diet decisions? The current research reports seven studies showing that in joint decisions, homogeneous high self-control pairs make less indulgent choices than both homogeneous low self-control and mixed pairs. However, there is no difference in the self-regulatory patterns of the latter two dyad types: having one high self-control partner in a dyad does not lead to more restraint than having none. The authors argue that this pattern exists because higher self-control individuals tend to prioritize prorelationship behaviors over their personal preference for restraint. Therefore, they assent to the lower self-control partner's more indulgent preferences. Consistent with this explanation, results suggest that interventions that change individuals' prorelationship motivation can alter this pattern. Given the range of decisions consumers may make in couples or pairs, this research has implications for consumers, marketers, and public-policy makers.

Date: 2014
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