Understanding self-control: Eating and spending are different public policy issues

You can resist buying a candy bar while you’re waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store—but you’ll buy any pair of shoes that are on sale. Your best friend, in contrast, wouldn’t dream of buying a pair of shoes he thinks he doesn’t need, no matter how low the price—but he can’t resist buying that same candy bar you so easily ignore. According to a new study in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, it is precisely those differences in self-control that researchers need to pay attention to when assessing the impact of public policies. As the study reports, if you want to understand the effectiveness of a regulation or tax on a specific behavior, use a measure of self-control specific to that behavior. —> Read More