From Firm Muscles to Firm Willpower: Understanding the Role of Embodied Cognition in Self-Regulation
Iris W. Hung
NUS Business School, National University of Singapore
Aparna A. Labroo
University of Chicago
Journal of Consumer Research, 2011
Across five studies, we show that firming one’s muscles can help firm willpower and firmed willpower mediates people’s ability to withstand immediate pain, overcome tempting food, consume unpleasant medicines, and attend to immediately disturbing but essential information, provided doing so is seen as providing long term benefits. We draw on theories of embodied cognition to explain our results, and we add to that literature by showing for a first time that our bodies can help firm willpower and facilitate self-regulation essential for the attainment of long-term goals.
Keywords: Embodied Cognition, Self-regulation, Self-control, Willpower
JEL Classification: M31, C91, D18, D12Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 27, 2011
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