Environmental disorder leads to self-regulatory failure

Boyoun Grace Chae, Rui Juliet Zhu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the influence of environmental orderliness on consumers' selfregulation. It is proposed that a disorganized environment threatens the individual's sense of personal control. Because experiencing this control threat depletes resources, individuals exposed to a disorganized (vs. organized) environment are more likely to exhibit self-regulatory failure in subsequent tasks. The results from four studies provide support for this hypothesis. Further, they offer evidence of the underlying process by demonstrating that a perceived threat to control mediates the effect of environmental orderliness on self-regulation, and that providing individuals with an opportunity to recoup their resources mitigates this effect. This research has crucial practical implications concerning public health and consumer well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1218
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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