Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Actions Speak Louder: Why We Use Our Past Behavior To Determine Our Current Attitudes

Date:
November 15, 2007
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Sometimes it's difficult for us to remember how we felt about a product. A new study reveals that when memory fails, consumers will use postpurchase actions as a proxy. In other words, if we gab about a terrible dinner and a boring movie with loved ones, we might mistake the positive memory of talking about the experience for positive memories of the experience itself.

Sometimes it's difficult for us to remember how we felt about a product. Was that restaurant pretty good or just okay" Was the movie boring or enjoyable? A new study reveals that, in many of these cases, consumers will use postpurchase actions -- and advertising -- as a proxy for lost memories, even if these actions are not a good indication of how we actually felt while using the product.

In other words, if we gab about a terrible dinner and a boring movie with loved ones, we might mistake the positive memory of talking about the experience for positive memories of the experience itself.

"People use their feelings of liking or disliking elicited during prior experiences to guide decisions about their future," explains Elizabeth Cowley (University of Sydney). "When reflecting back on prior events, people assume that their behavior was consistent with the feelings they held at the time."

For example, Cowley had participants view a short excerpt of a film. She then exposed one group to advertisements for the film containing humorous dialogue, asking them to rate the entertainment value of the advertisement. The other group was exposed to facts about the film and asked to rate the informational value. Participants were then asked to make a choice between the film just sampled and three other film clips.

Cowley shows that post-experience exposure to a task requiring emotional judgment interfered with the participants' ability to remember how well they initially liked the clip, while tasks involving unemotional judgments did not interfere.

"When interference reduces the ability to retrieve experience-based feelings, consumers may unconsciously reflect on what they did to infer how they felt because their post-experience behavior is more accessible," Cowley writes. "The study showed that people are not particularly adept at retrieving their experience-based affective reaction when they have other non-experience based reactions in memory."

She continues: "Perhaps the behavioral information may have 'felt right' because of an implicit [belief] that behaviors are consistent with attitudes."

Elizabeth Cowley, "How Enjoyable Was It" Remembering an Affective Reaction to a Previous Consumption Experience." Journal of Consumer Research: December 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Actions Speak Louder: Why We Use Our Past Behavior To Determine Our Current Attitudes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071112133806.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2007, November 15). Actions Speak Louder: Why We Use Our Past Behavior To Determine Our Current Attitudes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071112133806.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Actions Speak Louder: Why We Use Our Past Behavior To Determine Our Current Attitudes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071112133806.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins