Forewarned is forearmed: Conserving self-control strength to resist social influence

L. Janssen, B.M. Fennis, Adriaan T.H. Pruyn

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Recent research has shown that resisting persuasion involves active self-regulation. Resisting an influence attempt consumes self-regulatory resources, and in a state of self-regulatory resource depletion, people become more susceptible to (unwanted) influence attempts. However, the present studies show that a forewarning of an impending influence attempt prompts depleted individuals to conserve what is left of their regulatory resources and thus promotes self-regulatory efficiency. As a result, when these individuals are subsequently confronted with a persuasive request, they comply less (Experiments 1 and 3), and generate more counterarguments (Experiment 2) than their depleted counterparts who were not forewarned and thus did not conserve their resources, and they are as able as non-depleted participants to resist persuasion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-921
JournalJournal of experimental social psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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