Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Spillover effect: Why we end up spending more when we think we're saving

10.11.2006
Ever go to a store intending to buy one item, only to leave with a cartful? Or walked out of a store after feeling you had been overcharged for something you needed?

A groundbreaking new paper in the December issue of the Journal of Consumer Research is the first to comprehensively outline "spillover effect" – that is, the tendency for consumers to spend more on a shopping trip when something they were planning to buy is deeply discounted. Similarly, an unanticipated price increase, or a decrease in quality, on a planned purchase causes overall spending to go down.

"Results from two laboratory studies show that spillover effects can occur in response to both positive and negative changes in either the price or quality of a product," write Narayan Janakiraman (University of Arizona), Robert J. Meyer (University of Pennsylvania), and Andrea C. Morales (Arizona State University). "Positive changes increase total spending on other items and negative changes reduce it."

Positive surprises, like a sale on something you were planning to buy anyway, inflated overall purchasing. But both unexpected price increases and decreases in quality caused people to buy fewer discretionary items – and to pass up other goods offered at attractive, discounted prices.

This challenges prior research on the effect that suggests that we mentally budget and react to feelings of diminished or increased wealth by shopping accordingly. Instead, based on their findings, the researchers argue that a more consistent root of "spillover effect" is attribution theory and our desire to reward or punish the retailer for shopping surprises.

Unexpected changes in price trigger feelings of anger or gratitude. In this sense, the researchers point out, consumers are like restaurant patrons who may express gratitude for a complimentary bottle of wine by ordering more, or express anger over a long wait by ordering less.

"Are the feelings rational? In some cases they might well be – such as if consumers have real reason to believe that a decision to withhold purchases might cause the retailer to offer better terms in the future," explain the authors. "But in this research no such expectations existed, [and] yet the instincts to reward or punish prevailed."

Suzanne Wu | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uchicago.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: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

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...

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

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>