Triggers of Real-World Habits: Implications For Consumer Behavior

David Neal, Duke University
Wendy Wood, Duke University
Anthony M. Pascoe, Duke University
Consumers often are portrayed as rational agents whose actions are principally guided by intentions or goals to achieve valued outcomes. Although this model accurately captures many novel behaviors, we present data showing that people's habits tend to be triggered automatically by recurring features of the performance environment and thus do not necessarily depend on current intentions and goals. This fact can be harnessed in understanding and predicting consumers' repeated behaviors. In particular, interventions to cultivate or to change consumer habits need to address how environmental cues trigger performance along with strategies to establish or inhibit this automated cuing.
[ to cite ]:
David Neal, Wendy Wood, and Anthony M. Pascoe (2008) ,"Triggers of Real-World Habits: Implications For Consumer Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 125-128.