Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Research of UC Marketing Professor Highlighted in New Book

Monday, December 19, 2016 6:24 PM
‘Mind Over Mind’ suggests expectations bend willpower limits.  

The research of Joshua Clarkson, assistant professor of marketing in the Carl H. Lindner College of Business, is referenced in a new book by author Chris Berdik.

Mind Over Mind: The Surprising Power of Expectations (published by the Penguin Group, 2012) discusses this power in forming an alternative reality in people’s minds, exerting immense influence over their judgments, decisions and actions.

Berdik interviewed Clarkson about his ongoing research on the role of expectations in biasing people’s beliefs about their willpower abilities. To illustrate, Berdik outlines an experiment conducted by Clarkson and his colleagues in which a group of people were led to believe the same beverage either enhanced or impaired their mental resources.

After drinking the beverage, Clarkson says, those individuals who expected the beverage to enhance their mental resources not only perceived themselves to have more willpower but were in fact more able to actually engage in successful self-regulation (here, not indulging in an unhealthy snack).

Clarkson, who holds doctorates in psychology and marketing, says these findings illustrate the power of expectations in shifting the ways we allocate our willpower—a shift, he notes, that can expand our willpower beyond the limits imposed by reality.