Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mental Shortcuts: New Study Examines Consumer Choice Process

Date:
January 26, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
When we use a mental shortcut to decide which product we want, we don't always end up with our ideal choice, according to a new study.

When we use a mental shortcut to decide which product we want, we don't always end up with our ideal choice, according to a new study.

When our minds are filled with other tasks, product choices become less likely to reflect our authentic goals, write authors Aimee Drolet (UCLA), Mary Frances Luce (Duke University), and Itamar Simonson (Stanford University). Their research identified two factors that can lead consumers to use shortcuts (heuristics) when they make product choices. One is people's level of desire to think analytically about choices (NFC, or need for cognition) and the other is the cognitive load (whether the person is attending to other mental tasks at the same time).

In the course of the study, the researchers asked participants to choose among different options of portable grills, stereo speakers, and tires. Participants who had previously scored high in Need for Cognition tended to focus more on their own goals and preferences, while those low in NFC were more likely to make compromise choices. But the effect reversed when high NFC people were asked to memorize 20 words for later recall.

"We investigated heuristic use within the context of choices that offer a so-called 'compromise option' that can be identified based on a 'choose-the-middle' heuristic that does not necessarily require that consumers consider options in view of their self-goals," write the authors.

"The present research provides new insights into the conditions under which consumers' choices will be reflective of their self-goals and hence the degree to which choices might be expected to reveal preferences," write the authors.

By remaining aware of their goals and their tendencies to juggle multiple tasks, consumers might end up making choices that more closely reflect their true preferences.


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. Aimee Drolet, Mary Frances Luce, and Itamar Simonson. When Does Choice Reveal Preference? Moderators of Heuristic vs. Goal Based Choice. Journal of Consumer Research, June 2009

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Mental Shortcuts: New Study Examines Consumer Choice Process." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126104401.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, January 26). Mental Shortcuts: New Study Examines Consumer Choice Process. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126104401.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Mental Shortcuts: New Study Examines Consumer Choice Process." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126104401.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. 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