Reconciling Consistency and Contrast in Sequential Choices

Uzma Khan, Stanford University
Ravi Dhar, Yale University
Most choices follow other choices and decisions. However, there is little consensus on when an initial task leads to consistency versus contrast in subsequent decisions. The present research offers a framework based on highlighting vs. balancing mindsets to understand how a prior task guides subsequent behavior. We propose that when an initial task activates a self-concept it leads to a highlighting mindset, which subsequently guides consistent behavior. However, when an initial task activates a self-concept and establishes credentials for it, it leads to a balancing mindset that causes subsequent choices to contrast from the initial ones.
[ to cite ]:
Uzma Khan and Ravi Dhar (2008) ,"Reconciling Consistency and Contrast in Sequential Choices", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 101-105.