Inhibitory Spillover: Increased Urination Urgency Facilitates Impulse Control in Unrelated Domains

22 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2010  

Mirjam A. Tuk

Imperial College Business School

Debra Trampe

Department of Marketing, University of Groningen

Luk Warlop

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB); BI Norwegian Business School

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Visceral states are known to have a (detrimental) impact on our ability to exert self-control. In the current research, we investigate the impact of a visceral factor associated with inhibition, rather than with approach: bladder control. We argue that inhibitory signals are not domain specific, but can spill over to unrelated domains, resulting in increased impulse control in the behavioral domain. We show that urination urgency correlates with improved performance on color naming but not word meaning trials of a Stroop task (Study 1). In Study 2 and 3, we show that higher levels of bladder control result in an increasing ability to resist more immediate temptations in monetary decision making. We show that inhibitory spillover effects are moderated by sensitivity of the behavioral inhibition system (BIS, Study 3), and can be induced by exogenous cues (Study 4). Implications for inhibition and impulse control theories are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Tuk, Mirjam A. and Trampe, Debra and Warlop, Luk, Inhibitory Spillover: Increased Urination Urgency Facilitates Impulse Control in Unrelated Domains (2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1720956 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1720956

Mirjam A. Tuk (Contact Author)

Imperial College Business School ( email )

Tanaka Building
South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ, DC SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Debra Trampe

Department of Marketing, University of Groningen ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AH Groningen
Netherlands

Luk Warlop

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

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