Impatience Is in the Mindset:Carryover Effects of Processing Abstractness in Sequential Tasks

Selin Malkoc, University of Minnesota, USA
Gal Zauberman, University of Pennsylvania, USA
James Bettman, Duke University, USA
Many consumption decisions are preceded by other choices and judgments, both related and unrelated to the focal decision. We show that prior tasks can activate different mindsets (concrete vs. abstract) that have carryover effects on subsequent timing decisions. We propose that if a prior decision puts consumers in a concrete mindset, consumers act impulsively and show present bias. However, if the earlier decision activates an abstract mindset, consumers’ present bias is attenuated. Three studies demonstrate that the mindset (concrete versus abstract) evoked in previous decisions (both related and unrelated) moderates consumers’ extent of present bias in later consumption timing decisions.
[ to cite ]:
Selin Malkoc, Gal Zauberman, and James Bettman (2007) ,"Impatience Is in the Mindset:Carryover Effects of Processing Abstractness in Sequential Tasks", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 654-660.