Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People work harder when expecting a future challenging task

Date:
November 19, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Consumers will work harder on a task if they're expecting to have to do something difficult at a later time, according to a new study.

Consumers will work harder on a task if they're expecting to have to do something difficult at a later time, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Related Articles


In today's fast-paced world, consumers frequently undertake unrelated tasks in a sequence. An individual might make a grocery list, decide whether to take out a home improvement loan, search the Internet for a vacation spot, and choose a dinner location -- all before preparing lunch. "It seems reasonable to expect that when consumers know that they will have to work hard on a future task, they will devote less effort to the current task, in order to save energy for the upcoming demanding task. This is not what we found," write authors Anick Bosmans, Rik Pieters (both Tilburg University, The Netherlands), and Hans Baumgartner (Pennsylvania State University).

In a series of five studies, the authors observed that the more difficult a future task was expected to be, the harder consumers worked on a current task. "For example, consumers consulted more information on a web page when they were asked to evaluate a new soft drink when they expected that they would later on have to work on a difficult and demanding task," write the authors. Other participants were better able to come up with weight loss ideas when they believed they would have to work hard on a future job.

The authors titled the phenomenon the "get ready mindset." "People seem to prepare themselves mentally for upcoming tasks, but in doing so, the resources that are freed up for the future task carry over to current tasks," the authors explain. "We found consistent evidence that if the mind gets ready to perform later, it is set to go now."

The authors found that the "get ready mindset" can be attenuated and even reversed when people are better at separating tasks, either because the situation helps then to do so or because they are habitually better at keeping tasks separate.

"These results imply that the amount of effort that consumers will invest in the decision-making process (such a searching for information, generating ideas, or evaluating alternatives) is dependent upon the anticipated difficulty level of future tasks," the authors conclude.


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. Anick Bosmans, Rik Pieters, and Hans Baumgartner. The Get Ready Mindset: How Gearing Up for Later Impacts Effort Allocation Now. Journal of Consumer Research, June 2010

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "People work harder when expecting a future challenging task." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091117161133.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, November 19). People work harder when expecting a future challenging task. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091117161133.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "People work harder when expecting a future challenging task." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091117161133.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) — In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled Japan could no longer engage in whaling in the Antarctic, but Japan has plans to return this year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lights out for Earth Hour

Lights out for Earth Hour

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 29, 2015) — Landmarks in cities around the globe turn off their lights to mark Earth Hour. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
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

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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