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License to sin: Self-licensing as underlying mechanism of hedonic consumption Seminar

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16:00 - 17:00
3 March 2011
School of Psychology, Rooms 3031/3033, Shackleton Building (Building 44), University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Barbara Seiter on 02380 595578 or email .

Event details

The increasing prevalence of overweight calls attention to the frail nature of human self-control.

Human willpower, it seems, is not always strong enough to effectively resist the increasing availability and affordability of hedonically tempting but health-threatening foods that modern society offers. While the power of desires and temptations in impairing our self-control abilities has been firmly established within self-regulation research, everyday evidence suggests that an impulsive breakdown of the self-control system is not the only route to hedonic indulgence. Sometimes people actively relent their self-control efforts, rather than lose self-control, by relying on justifications to permit themselves an otherwise forbidden pleasure. Such self-licensing, or the tendency to rely on reasons and arguments to justify subsequent gratification, has received surprisingly little attention within self-regulation research. The aim of my talk is therefore to investigate whether self-licensing can contribute to hedonic (over)consumption, thereby exploring deeper the observation that hedonic (over)consumption in some cases is not the consequence of lost self-control, but the result of more reasoned processes.

Tea will be served beforehand at 15:45 in room 3096 (iZone room).

Speaker information

Professor Denise de Ridder,Utrecht University, Netherlands

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