Acts of emptying promote self-focus: A perceived resource deficiency perspective

Liat Levontin*, Danit Ein-Gar, Angela Y. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


No one likes feeling empty. When people feel empty they seek replenishment, which usually takes the form of increased self-focused behaviors that provide value to the self and decreased other-focused behaviors that provide value to others. This research demonstrates how exposure to the concept of emptiness by simply performing or observing acts of emptying (vs. filling or control) of a glass vase, coat pockets, a glass jar, or a duffle bag triggers the cognitive metaphor of resource deficiency. The resource deficiency metaphor in turn leads people to engage in self-focused behaviors such as eating candy or planning a dream vacation and to disengage from other-focused behaviors such as donating to charities or helping others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 18 2013


  • Donations
  • Emptying
  • Pro-social behaviors
  • Resource deficiency
  • Self-focus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Acts of emptying promote self-focus: A perceived resource deficiency perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this