The Inertia of Motion

Newton’s first law – an object at rest (motion) stays at rest (motion) – can be applied to human behavior. An individual who has begun (vs. not begun) moving has a greater propensity to keep moving. Thus, those in motion (vs. at rest) exhibit a greater readiness to start a subsequent task and tend to spend less time per “unit” of a task. When forced to choose between maintaining momentum vs. achieving another goal, those in motion tend to choose the former. Three studies support these assertions by observing individuals who believe they have begun (vs. not begun) a task.


Sunaina Chugani, Raj Raghunathan, and Ying Zhang (2009) ,"The Inertia of Motion", 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: 119-119.


Sunaina Chugani, UT Austin, USA
Raj Raghunathan, UT Austin, USA
Ying Zhang, UT Austin, USA


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

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