The Effect of Incidental Cues on Waiting

Waiting is ubiquitous. In this paper, we suggest that the psychological effects of the procession to a service during waiting are often marked by a discontinuity. In particular, we show that incidental cues in the waiting environment can serve as a virtual boundary of the service system and signal the perceived start of the service experience. Once this boundary is crossed, people adopt an in-system mindset that leads to greater task commitment which is associated with increased optimism and action orientation. Further, we demonstrate two key criteria for this effect to hold: the singularity criterion and the non-habituation criterion.


Min Zhao, Leonard Lee, and Dilip Soman (2011) ,"The Effect of Incidental Cues on Waiting", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Zhihong Yi, Jing Jian Xiao, and June Cotte and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 191-191.


Min Zhao, University of Toronto, Canada
Leonard Lee, Columbia University, USA
Dilip Soman, University of Toronto, Canada


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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