Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mental shortcuts: New study examines consumer choice process

29.01.2009
When we use a mental shortcut to decide which product we want, we don't always end up with our ideal choice, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

When our minds are filled with other tasks, product choices become less likely to reflect our authentic goals, write authors Aimee Drolet (UCLA), Mary Frances Luce (Duke University), and Itamar Simonson (Stanford University).

Their research identified two factors that can lead consumers to use shortcuts (heuristics) when they make product choices. One is people's level of desire to think analytically about choices (NFC, or need for cognition) and the other is the cognitive load (whether the person is attending to other mental tasks at the same time).

In the course of the study, the researchers asked participants to choose among different options of portable grills, stereo speakers, and tires. Participants who had previously scored high in Need for Cognition tended to focus more on their own goals and preferences, while those low in NFC were more likely to make compromise choices. But the effect reversed when high NFC people were asked to memorize 20 words for later recall.

"We investigated heuristic use within the context of choices that offer a so-called 'compromise option' that can be identified based on a 'choose-the-middle' heuristic that does not necessarily require that consumers consider options in view of their self-goals," write the authors.

"The present research provides new insights into the conditions under which consumers' choices will be reflective of their self-goals and hence the degree to which choices might be expected to reveal preferences," write the authors.

By remaining aware of their goals and their tendencies to juggle multiple tasks, consumers might end up making choices that more closely reflect their true preferences.

Aimee Drolet, Mary Frances Luce, and Itamar Simonson. "When Does Choice Reveal Preference? Moderators of Heuristic vs. Goal Based Choice." Journal of Consumer Research: June 2009.

Mary-Ann Twist | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wisc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>