Nonconscious Effects on Economic Decisions: the Role of Perceptual Construals in Mediating Priming-To-Behavior Effects

Dirk Smeesters, Tilburg University, Netherlands
Aaron Kay, University of Waterloo
Economic behavior can be influenced by subtle environmental stimuli (Kay, Wheeler, Bargh, & Ross, 2004). Convincing evidence for multiple mechanisms of these types of effects, including affecting the self-concept and affecting perceptions of others has been provided. In this paper, we establish the conditions under which different mechanisms will operate. Using both experimental manipulations and individual difference measures, three experiments demonstrate that high levels of other-focus (versus self-focus) lead to different economic decisions that result from biased perceptions of others. Under conditions of self-focus, economic decisions are similarly affected, but perceptions of others remain unchanged.
[ to cite ]:
Dirk Smeesters and Aaron Kay (2007) ,"Nonconscious Effects on Economic Decisions: the Role of Perceptual Construals in Mediating Priming-To-Behavior Effects", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 157-160.