This research examines the largely unexamined effect of incidental pride on consumer self-control. The results demonstrate that incidental pride influences long-term goal pursuit through dual processes that result in conflicting outcomes for consumer decisions: indulgent choices when promoting a sense of achievement and virtuous choices when promoting self-awareness. A series of four experiments in the money and health domains shows that the relative weight of each process at the time of a decision determines whether incidental pride leads to more or less indulgence. We provide outcome and process support for our theory, linking pride to self-control behavior in the consumption domain, and rule out alternative explanations for our findings. Thus, the findings demonstrate that the influence of incidental pride on self-control is contingent on the cognitive and contextual factors that affect decision making.
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