Curiosity Can Resist Anything but Temptation: The Incidental Effects of Curiosity on Indulgent Consumption
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Curiosity can do more than kill a cat. The present research sheds light on an unexpected consequence of curiosity by showing that curiosity can lead to indulgent consumption. Four experiments present convergent evidence that the more curious consumers are, the more likely they are to indulge. This effect is explained by a heightened desire for anything that is rewarding. Study 1 provides initial support for the proposed model. Study 2 replicates the impact of curiosity on indulgent consumption through desire for rewards and shows that consumers who are more sensitive to rewards are particularly susceptible to that effect. Studies 3 and 4 test a boundary condition by showing that the effect of curiosity on indulgent consumption will no longer hold when consumers believe that the willpower to resist temptations is an unlimited resource. Study 4 also rules out an alternative mechanism of reward enjoyment. Together, these studies demonstrate that curiosity acts as an impetus for indulgent consumption by impairing consumers’ ability to resist temptations and that implicit theories about the willpower to resist temptations moderate this effect.