A subject in an office-building setting is asked to memorize a list of numbers and to write them down on a whiteboard in another room on the opposite side of the building.
The subject must navigate a series of hallways in order to get from the first room to the other room.
At a certain point midway through the hallways, the subject is approached by a confederate who asks the subject if she would like a treat. The subject is given two choices:
- 1) a high-nutrition, moderately-tempting snack with a low level of self-indulgence
- 2) a low-nutrition-value, highly-tempting snack with a high level of self-indulgence
There exists a relationship between complexity of the memorization task and the choice to accept the high self-indulgence snack, such that:
- The subjects are more likely to accept the high self-indulgence snack if the memorization task is more complex and imposes a higher cognitive load.
- The greater the cognitive load of an in-process mental task means the greater deficiency the subject will have in being able to resist or "self-censor" behaviors.
Can anyone provide links or references that relate to the above hypothesis and test?