Why not buy that treadmill? You'll be exercising every day, right? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research examines why our expectations of our behavior so often don't match reality.
Authors Robin J. Tanner (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Kurt A. Carlson (Duke University) uncovered a specific process that they believe contributes to unrealistic optimism. They also suggest a method to encourage consumers to think more realistically about their future actions.
"Consumers adopt the tentative hypothesis that they will behave in an ideal fashion when predicting their future behavior," the authors explain. "Unrealistic optimism by consumers may have negative consequences for both marketers and consumers. For example, if a consumer holds unrealistically optimistic beliefs about how often they will work out in the future, then they may overpay for home exercise equipment."
In a series of studies, the authors first had participants provide idealized estimates for particular behaviors (e.g., In an ideal world, how often would you exercise next week?) Then they asked participants to provide a second estimate (e.g. How often will you exercise next week?). They found that when people are first asked to predict what would happen in an ideal world, then asked how they actually expect to do, they are more realistic.
Interestingly, when researchers explicitly instructed participants not to be idealistic, the experiment backfired and led to even more unrealistic estimates.
Also, the authors found that more decisive people were less realistic.
"An important potential consequence of being overly optimistic about one's future behavior is that such optimistic beliefs may contribute to overbuying of products that see little use," the authors write.
Mary-Ann Twist | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine