Self control: why is it so hard sometimes?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 3:00pm

Kathleen Vohs, speaking on "The Costs of Decision Fatigue for Leadership, Wisdom, and Control"

Among the special guests were Land O’Lakes executives and employees, Professor Vohs, and past and present U of M student interns

Kathleen Vohs, an expert on the psychology of consumption, took the stage at the 1st Tuesday Speaker Series on February 7 to explain her research on how decision fatigue affects our self control. Vohs holds the Land O'Lakes Chair in Marketing at the U of M’s Carlson School of Management and is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor.

Vohs applies her understanding of psychological science to business issues in order to advance new areas of marketing research. “People make countless decisions during the course of the day,” she says. “Without even realizing it, each decision reduces people’s ability to exert self-control subsequently. After making decisions, people show irrational, passive thinking styles, give in to temptations, stick with safe but unrewarding routes, and quit when they should persevere.”

Understanding those dynamics is key, Vohs explains. “Sidestepping the need to make decisions, as in setting up habits, letting others choose, or choosing not to choose any further, can offset the harmful consequences of decision fatigue.”

Held on campus on the first Tuesday of every month, the 1st Tuesday Speaker Series addresses hot topics in business and leadership, and is an attractive spot for professionals to network. Representatives from Land O’Lakes were among the special attendees for the February 7 program, which attracted alumni and business leaders.

Learn more about Kathleen Vohs and her work.