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Degrees Of Freedom Of Will: An Essential Endless Question In Consumer Behavior

Journal of Consumer Psychology 

David Glen Mick


Baumeister, Sparks, Stillman, and Vohs [Baumeister, R.F., Sparks, E.A., Stillman, T.F., & Vohs, K.D.(2008). Free will in consumer behavior: Self-control, ego depletion, and choice. Journal of Consumer Psychology] provide new insights on consumer free will by linking it to self-regulation within the context of culture, the market system, and ego depletion. They imply that free will is strong and widespread, as consumers set their goals and budgets and choose products and brands according to self-interests. However, the article gives little attention to the forces that substantially constrain consumer free will. These include the structure and power of international corporations, the role of socioeconomic status and biography, and the 24/7, high-speed, multitasking, hyperchoice lifestyle of millions of people.I identify some consumer behaviors that appear higher in free will than brand choices per se. I then outline additional research on belief in free will, the experience of free will, the association between wisdom and free will, and the roles of nonconscious factors and marketplace metacognition in exercising free will

Free Will


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