The following scenario might seem somewhat familiar to you. After your partner, your doctor and even your Mom started commenting on your love handles, you took a New Year’s Resolution: Cut the sweets. It went okay for most of January and you started to feel somewhat proud. There were even first moments of success when you stepped on your scale.
And then you had this cookie. It was just one cookie. But afterwards you thought “What the hell!”. The fateful cookie had ruined your plan anyway. So you had the rest of the package. And some leftover cake. And two chocolate bars – just to silence your guilt.
What happened? Actually, just a pretty normal psychological phenomenon. One that you can avoid once you know more about it: The what-the-hell effect.