What Do Rats Think While They Run?—Goal Distance and Cognitive Effort Acceleration

Shirley Y. Y. Cheng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jessica Y. Y. Kwong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
From a behaviorist perspective, previous studies have shown that consumers exert greater physical efforts such as purchase in larger quantity when they approach the reward of a reward program (RP). This paper, from a cognitive angle, argues that goal proximity also increases cognitive efforts in information processing. We showed that consumers are more likely to deliberate on information related to the value of the RP reward as they get closer to the goal; the same information might not be considered when the goal is distant. This increased cognitive efforts could sometimes become a counterbalancing force that decreases the occurrence of overt behaviors.
[ to cite ]:
Shirley Y. Y. Cheng and Jessica Y. Y. Kwong (2007) ,"What Do Rats Think While They Run?—Goal Distance and Cognitive Effort Acceleration", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 368-371.