Consumers’ Reluctance to Use Windfall Gains to Offset Opportunity Losses

In two studies, we show that consumers are reluctant to use windfall money ($50 won in a lottery) to offset a prior opportunity loss (missing a $50 off sale on a chocolate basket). The reluctance remains unchanged even when the windfall amount exceeds the lost opportunity ($75 lottery win to offset a $50 off sale) such that consumers have to spend less out of pocket money to buy the focal product. The reluctance, however, reduces somewhat if consumers feel that they are not to blame for missing the first opportunity. We discuss the implications of these results on the research on inaction inertia.


Subimal Chatterjee, Timothy Heath, Magdoleen Ierlan, and Napatsorn Jiraporn (2009) ,"Consumers’ Reluctance to Use Windfall Gains to Offset Opportunity Losses", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Sridhar Samu, Rajiv Vaidyanathan, and Dipankar Chakravarti, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 4-5.


Subimal Chatterjee, SUNY at Binghamton, USA
Timothy Heath, Miami University, USA
Magdoleen Ierlan, SUNY at Binghamton, USA
Napatsorn Jiraporn, SUNY at Binghamton, USA


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2009

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


The Secrecy Effect: Secret Consumption Polarizes Product Evaluations

Maria A Rodas, University of Minnesota, USA
Deborah Roedder John, University of Minnesota, USA

Read More


Can Implicit Theory Influence Construal Level?

Olya Bullard, University of Winnipeg
Sara Penner, University of Manitoba, Canada
Kelley Main, University of Manitoba, Canada

Read More


Turning the Titanic: Creating Consumer-Centric Cultures and Improved Consumer Experience in Large, Established Health Care Systems

Gregory Carpenter, Northwestern University, USA
Beth Leavenworth DuFault, University at Albany
Ashlee Humphreys, Northwestern University - Medill, USA
Lez Ecima Trujillo Torres, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.