What is SELF-LICENSING? What does SELF-LICENSING mean? SELF-LICENSING meaning - SELF-LICENSING pronunciation -
SELF-LICENSING definition - SELF-LICENSING explanation - How to pronounce SELF-LICENSING?
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
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Self-licensing (aka moral self-licensing, moral licensing, licensing effect, moral credentials) is a term used in social psychology and marketing to describe the subconscious phenomenon whereby increased confidence and security in one’s self-image or self-concept tends to make that individual worry less about the consequences of subsequent immoral behavior and, therefore, more likely to make immoral choices and act immorally. In simple terms, self-licensing occurs when people allow themselves to indulge after doing something positive first; for example, drinking a diet soda with a cheeseburger can lead one to subconsciously discount the negative attributes of the meal’s high caloric and cholesterol content.
Self-licensing can have negative societal consequences since it has a permissive effect on behaviors such as racial prejudice and discrimination, selfishness, poor dietary and health habits, and excessive energy consumption.
Researchers Uzma Khan and Ravi Dhar describe the phenomena as follows:
"The moral licensing effect is a non conscious effect that operates by providing a moral boost in the self-concept, which increases the preference for a relative immoral action subsequently by dampening the negative self attributions associated with such behavior."
"Prior choices that activate and boost the self-concept, are likely to subsequently license more self-indulgent choices...Licensing can operate through an expression of the intent to be virtuous, which reduces negative self-attributions associated with the purchase of relative luxuries."
Similarly, Anna Merritt and colleagues have explained that:
"Past good deeds can liberate individuals to engage in behaviors that are immoral, unethical, or otherwise problematic, behaviors that they would otherwise avoid for fear of feeling or appearing immoral."
Research suggests that self-licensing affects moral self-regulation and individual behavior in a variety of contexts; for example, it can influence consumer purchases, political opinions, charitable giving, energy policy and home energy use, job hiring, racial attitudes, health-related decision-making, risky sexual behavior, alcohol consumption, and dietary supplement use.Washington Post staff writer Michael Rosenwald described the following everyday examples of self-licensing behavior:
"We drink Diet Coke – with Quarter Pounders and fries at McDonald's. We go to the gym – and ride the elevator to the second floor. We install tankless water heaters – then take longer showers. We drive SUVs to see Al Gore's speeches on global warming."
A 2011 study published by researchers in Taiwan indicated that people who take multivitamin pills, especially those who believe that they are receiving significant health benefits from supplement use, are more prone to subsequently engage in unhealthy activities. Participants in the study were divided into two groups, both of which were given placebo pills; one group was correctly informed that the pills contained no active ingredients and the other group was told that the pills were multivitamin supplements.....