Crossing the Virtual Boundary: the Effect of Incidental Cues on Task Accomplishment

Min Zhao, University of Toronto, Canada
Leonard Lee, Columbia University, USA
Dilip Soman, University of Toronto, Canada
We show that incidental environmental cues—whether physical, informational, or semantic—can serve as a virtual boundary for many task-oriented activities and define the perceived start of the task experience. Once this boundary is crossed, people adopt an in-system mindset, leading to greater task commitment, action orientation, and optimism.
[ to cite ]:
Min Zhao, Leonard Lee, and Dilip Soman (2011) ,"Crossing the Virtual Boundary: the Effect of Incidental Cues on Task Accomplishment", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 38, eds. Darren W. Dahl, Gita V. Johar, and Stijn M.J. van Osselaer, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.