Remembering satiation: The role of working memory in satiation

Noelle M Nelson, Joseph P. Redden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Consumers typically enjoy an experience less with repeated consumption, yet this rate of satiation can dramatically vary across contexts and individuals. Building on the notion that satiation is constructed during consumption, we demonstrate that people satiate faster when they employ a greater working memory capacity. We establish this result in four studies across multiple experienced stimuli while using a range of measures of working memory capacity. We also develop insight into the underlying cognitive mechanism using mediation and moderation to show that people utilizing a larger working memory capacity satiate faster because they more deeply encode and process each stimulus. This subsequently leads to a sense that they have consumed that stimulus more times, and hence greater satiation. This provides direct evidence that working memory capacity is a critical cognitive mechanism underlying satiation, and it helps us potentially understand a range of satiation phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-650
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Journal of Consumer Research, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Cognition
  • Enjoyment
  • Satiation
  • Working memory


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