How love and lust influence self-control

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Minjung Kwon
Youngjee Han
Cite this article:  Kwon, M., & Han, Y. (2017). How love and lust influence self-control. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(2), 177-190.


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We investigated how love versus lust influences an individual’s self-control behavior. We anticipated that individuals primed with love would show a higher degree of self-control than those primed with lust. In Experiment 1 (N = 236 participants), we examined how a hypothetical choice between a healthy and an unhealthy food was influenced by priming with love or lust, and found that participants were more likely to prefer a healthy option when primed with love than when primed with lust. In Experiment 2 (N = 94 participants), we examined our hypothesis with the actual consumption of an unhealthy food, and found that people consumed more of an unhealthy food when primed with lust. Our findings not only contribute to the understanding of love and lust but also broaden the horizons of research on variables that influence self-control.

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