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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2008 Mar;34(3):419-31. doi: 10.1177/0146167207310458.

The role of self-control in resistance to persuasion.

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  • 1University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.


Four studies investigated a self-control theory of resistance to persuasion. This theory asserts that resistance to persuasion requires and consumes self-control resources. Study 1 showed that resistance to a persuasive message reduced the ability to engage in a subsequent self-control task. Studies 2 and 3 showed that self-control depletion leads to increased persuasion. Study 4 showed that self-control depletion increased persuasion, particularly under effortful resistance (i.e., strong arguments). Together, these findings suggest that self-control plays a vital role in the process of resistance to persuasion. People must have self-control resources to fend off persuasive appeals; without them, they become susceptible to influence.

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