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Willpower depletion and framing effects

Thomas de Haan and Roel van Veldhuizen

Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior from WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Abstract: We investigate whether depleting people's cognitive resources (or willpower) affects the degree to which they are susceptible to framing effects. Recent research in social psychology and economics has suggested that willpower is a resource that can be temporarily depleted and that a depleted level of willpower is associated with self-control problems in a variety of contexts. In this study, we extend the willpower depletion paradigm to framing effects and argue that willpower depletion should increase framing effects. To test this we designed two experiments in which we depleted participants' willpower and subsequently had them take part in a series of tasks, including a framed prisoner's dilemma, an attraction effect task, a compromise effect task, and an anchoring task. However, we find no evidence that framing effects were indeed more prevalent in willpower-depleted participants than in controls.

Keywords: willpower; ego depletion; framing; willpower depletion; experiment; behavioral economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D81 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp and nep-neu
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Journal Article: Willpower depletion and framing effects (2015) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:wzbmbh:spii2013206

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