Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Driven To Distraction? Taking Your Mind Off A Decision Can Help

Date:
April 21, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Remember when the answer to a big question came to you in the shower? Is "sleep on it" really good advice for someone making a big decision? A new study examines the way distraction affects consumers' product decisions.

Remember when the answer to a big question came to you in the shower? Is "sleep on it" really good advice for someone making a big decision? A new study examines the way distraction affects consumers' product decisions.

Author Davy Lerouge (Tilburg University) wondered whether distracting people from a decision for some moments helps them to evaluate products. He also set out to identify the specific conditions under which distraction is or is not helpful.

"Suppose you are choosing among several houses for sale," Lerouge writes. "Such a choice typically involves large amounts of information with each alternative having its specific pros and cons. Advice that consumers often receive from others when making such complex decisions is "let the information rest for a while" or "sleep on it." But is such common advice helpful?

Lerouge demonstrates that distraction can help decision-making, depending on the manner in which consumers process the available product information. "I find that distraction only helps consumers who tend to perceive products as coherent entities and typically hold clear good/bad representations of products," write Lerouge. "However, it does not help consumers who typically focus on the specific features of products and hold more mixed product representations."

To arrive at his conclusions, the author created experiments where participants evaluated four different products. Some participants were induced into a "configural" mindset, meaning that they were told to focus on their overall impression of the items. Another group was asked to form a detailed impression ("featural" mindset) noting positive and negative features. Some participants were distracted with anagram tasks and others were not. The people in the configural mindset made more accurate product evaluations after they were distracted.

"Consumers with a configural mindset differentiate more after distraction because they can rely on mental product representations that are more coherent than those of consumers with a featural mindset," the author explains. "These polarized product representations help consumers to better differentiate between product alternatives."


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. Davy Lerouge. Evaluating the Benefits of Distraction on Product Evaluations: The Mindset Effect. Journal of Consumer Research, October 2009

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Driven To Distraction? Taking Your Mind Off A Decision Can Help." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420170913.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, April 21). Driven To Distraction? Taking Your Mind Off A Decision Can Help. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420170913.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Driven To Distraction? Taking Your Mind Off A Decision Can Help." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420170913.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." 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