Spent resources: Self-regulatory resource availability affects impulse buying

Kathleen D. Vohs, Ronald J. Faber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

625 Scopus citations


This research investigated impulse buying as resulting from the depletion of a common - but limited - resource that governs self-control. In three investigations, participants' self-regulatory resources were depleted or not; later, impulsive spending responses were measured. Participants whose resources were depleted, relative to participants whose resources were not depleted, felt stronger urges to buy, were willing to spend more, and actually did spend more money in unanticipated buying situations. Participants having depleted resources reported being influenced equally by affective and cognitive factors and purchased products that were high on each factor at equal rates. Hence, self-regulatory resource availability predicts whether people can resist impulse buying temptations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-547
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2007


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