Why didn't I think of that? Self-regulation through selective information processing

Remi Trudel, Kyle B. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, the authors present an information-processing model of self-regulation. The model predicts that consumers with an active selfregulatory goal will tend to focus on the cost (rather than the pleasure) of consumption, and as a result, they are better able to control their behavior. In contrast to prior research, the authors find that consumers with an active goal are most vulnerable to self-regulatory failure when the object of desire is farther away from them (in either time or space) because as the distance increases they focus less on the costs of consumption. Finally, results indicate that if product information is not externally available (i.e., it must be recalled from memory), people are more likely to focus on pleasure and fail at self-regulation. The results are robust across four experiments using a variety of stimuli, goal primes, and information-processing measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-712
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost
  • Information acquisition
  • Information processing
  • Information search
  • Pleasure
  • Self-regulation

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