Flying under the radar: Perverse package size effects on consumption self-regulation

R.M.R.D. Coelho Do Vale, R. Pieters, M. Zeelenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


Consumers believe that small package formats of hedonic, but not of utilitarian, products help to regulate consumption—especially when their self-regulatory concerns are activated. These beliefs may backfire and increase consumption of hedonic products. Specifically, activating self-regulatory concerns had no consumption effects when tempting products came in small package formats. Yet, when tempting products came in large package formats, consumers deliberated most before consumption, were least likely to consume, and consumed the least. This illustrates how small temptations can remain undetected (“flying under the radar”) and large package formats may reduce consumption as a result of the experienced self-control conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-390
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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