Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Taking Cues: Sometimes Environmental Cues Can Activate Thrifty Behavior

Date:
March 31, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Consumers are constantly bombarded with subtle and even subconscious cues from their environment. A new study examines whether these cues activate goals that affect behavior in the long term or momentary desires that fade away.

Consumers are constantly bombarded with subtle and even subconscious cues from their environment. A new study examines whether these cues activate goals that affect behavior in the long term or momentary desires that fade away.

Related Articles


Authors Aner Sela and Baba Shiv (both Stanford Graduate School of Business) investigated the difference between goals that influence behavior and semantic activation, which has no lingering effect on behavior.

"Passing mindlessly by a discount store on the way to the mall might activate the goal of being frugal, which can sustain for a relatively long duration and influence subsequent purchases at the mall," explain the authors. "Alternatively, the same discount store may simply bring to mind the semantic notion of frugality, without actually activating the lingering motivation to behave frugally."

The difference between the two outcomes, the authors believe, depends on the degree to which the primed concept (like frugality) is perceived as discrepant from the consumer's self-concept. In other words, a person who does not see himself as frugal who is exposed to a prime is more likely to activate a goal of frugality and to pursue that goal until he feels he has fulfilled it. But someone who already believes she is frugal is more likely to respond to the prime in a short-term fashion.

In the experiments, the authors asked a large group of university students to rate the extent to which they saw themselves as physically fit. Then the authors exposed the participants to quick flashes of words related to physical fitness (primes) without participants being aware of the exposure. Finally the participants were asked to select and drink one of two energy beverages: They were told one boosted mental acuity and the other boosted fitness.

"Participants who had rated themselves as unfit to begin with were more likely than people in a control group to select the fitness drink after a long delay, which suggests that nonconscious exposure to the fitness words activated a fitness goal among those people," write the authors. "In contrast, participants who had rated themselves as fit to begin with were more likely than people in a control group to select the fitness drink immediately after exposure to the fitness words, but this effect faded out quickly."


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. Sela et al. Unraveling Priming: When Does the Same Prime Activate a Goal versus a Trait? Journal of Consumer Research, 2009; 090317092905096 DOI: 10.1086/598612

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Taking Cues: Sometimes Environmental Cues Can Activate Thrifty Behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331112727.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, March 31). Taking Cues: Sometimes Environmental Cues Can Activate Thrifty Behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331112727.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Taking Cues: Sometimes Environmental Cues Can Activate Thrifty Behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331112727.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. 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