Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What Was I Doing? Interruptions Can Change Purchase Decisions

Date:
September 18, 2008
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
You're on your computer, about to buy a vacation package when the phone rings. According to a new study, when you return to the computer after the interruption, you may have a completely different mindset -- and make a different decision.

You're on your computer, about to buy a vacation package when the phone rings. According to a new study, when you return to the computer after the interruption, you may have a completely different mindset—and make a different decision.

Related Articles


The study's author, Wendy Liu of UCLA, examined the effects of interruption on purchase decisions and the preferences of decision-makers. She found that even brief interruptions caused startling changes.

"This body of work forwards the view that people's decisions are often a result of cognitions and information processing made on the spot, rather than simply reflecting their innate likes and dislikes. Thus seemingly innocuous events such as an interruption may affect decisions by changing the thought process," Liu explains.

Liu conducted four different studies where participants made purchase choices for high-priced luxuries, high-risk investments, or hikes. She discovered that people who are interrupted in a decision-making process shift their focus from a bottom-up, detail-oriented, and price-conscious process to one that is more top-down, goal-oriented, and price-insensitive. After interruptions, people focus more on quality, satisfaction, and desirability than on feasibility and price.

"By taking a break from processing a decision, when the person resumes he/she is able to attend to information in a more selective and organized manner. Consequently, the person focuses on his/her primary goals in the decision," writes Liu.

In today's low-attention-span world, interruptions are a way of life. Liu's study has implications for consumers and the companies that market to them. "Whether you choose to have an exotic vacation, invest in high-risk stocks, or buy that big plasma TV may depend on whether you were interrupted when making the decision," writes Liu.


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.


Journal Reference:

  1. Liu et al. Focusing on Desirability: The Effect of Decision Interruption and Suspension on Preferences. Journal of Consumer Research, December 2008; 080829092440743 DOI: 10.1086/592126

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "What Was I Doing? Interruptions Can Change Purchase Decisions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915170747.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2008, September 18). What Was I Doing? Interruptions Can Change Purchase Decisions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915170747.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "What Was I Doing? Interruptions Can Change Purchase Decisions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915170747.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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