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Environmental Disorder Leads to Self-Regulatory Failure

Boyoun (Grace) Chae and Rui (Juliet) Zhu
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 40, No. 6 (April 2014), pp. 1203-1218
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/674547
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/674547
Page Count: 16
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Environmental Disorder Leads to Self-Regulatory Failure
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Abstract

This article examines the influence of environmental orderliness on consumers’ self-regulation. It is proposed that a disorganized environment threatens the individual’s sense of personal control. Because experiencing this control threat depletes resources, individuals exposed to a disorganized (vs. organized) environment are more likely to exhibit self-regulatory failure in subsequent tasks. The results from four studies provide support for this hypothesis. Further, they offer evidence of the underlying process by demonstrating that a perceived threat to control mediates the effect of environmental orderliness on self-regulation, and that providing individuals with an opportunity to recoup their resources mitigates this effect. This research has crucial practical implications concerning public health and consumer well-being.

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