Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Often Will You Use That Treadmill?

Date:
November 19, 2008
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
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.

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.


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. "How Often Will You Use That Treadmill?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081117110846.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2008, November 19). How Often Will You Use That Treadmill?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081117110846.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "How Often Will You Use That Treadmill?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081117110846.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. 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