While you may think you may not repeat your mistakes from the past, a new research has shown that the effectiveness of memory in improving a person's everyday self-control decisions depends on what he recalls every day.
While you may think you may not repeat your mistakes from the past, a new research has shown that the effectiveness of memory in improving a person’s everyday self-control decisions depends on what he recalls every day.
Lead author Hristina Nikolova claims that despite the common belief that remembering mistakes might help a person in making better decisions in the present, they found that thinking about failures at self-control leads a person to repeat them in present.
In the first of its kind study conducted by the Boston College researchers examined how the content of consumers’ recollections and the difficulty of their recall impact their decisions in self-control dilemmas such as money budgeting, time budgeting, and persistence on challenging tasks.
The findings revealed that people only show better self-control following reflection on their past under very specific conditions, when they recall their past self-control successes easily.
Nikolova added that when a person has to think about his failures it puts him in a negative mood and their research showed that when people were in a negative mood state, they tend to indulge to make themselves feel better.
Researchers claim that their research could be used in the real world by marketers who have been trying to design programs and interventions to help people with different self-control issues such as credit card debt and unhealthy eating.
The study is published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.