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Deliberative versus Implemental Mindsets in Consumer Decision Making

  • Author / Creator
    Kim, Hyoseok
  • Mindsets play an important role in shaping consumers’ behavior and, in particular, their purchase decisions. A significant body of prior research has investigated different types of mindsets, such as power (Galinsky et al. 2015), regulatory focus (Hamilton et al. 2011; Higgins 1998), and construal level (Trope and Liberman 2010). Among these mindsets, there has been a growing interest in understanding how deliberative versus implemental mindsets (i.e., to what extent consumers are momentarily predisposed to think versus act) might impact consumer decisions (Lee and Ariely 2006; Xu and Wyer 2007; Zhao, Lee, and Soman 2012). Prior work has shown that deliberative and implemental mindsets are associated with different stages of goal pursuit (Armor and Taylor 2003; Dhar, Huber, and Khan 2007; Tu and Soman 2014). However, more research is needed to identify what other factors might activate such mindsets and how they, in turn, govern consumers’ decision-making processes. The purpose of this dissertation is two-fold. First, it examines how contextual cues that consumers regularly encounter while shopping can activate deliberative versus implemental mindsets. While prior work in this domain has focused on how goal-relevant aspects of a situation or environment promote deliberative or implemental mindsets (Taylor and Gollwitzer 1995; Brandstätter and Frank 2002; Keller and Gollwitzer 2017), the current research sheds light on how these mindsets can be activated by seemingly goal-irrelevant situational cues in shopping environments. Second, this dissertation advances our understanding of the behavioral consequences of deliberative versus implemental mindsets. In particular, it examines how these mindsets promote consumers’ action readiness, which, in turn, interacts with the shopping context to drive purchase decisions. This dissertation consists of two essays that provide insight into the role of deliberative versus implemental mindsets in different marketing contexts. The first essay examines how consumers’ purchase behavior is affected by the timing of a store’s request that shoppers reveal their identity. Since the completion of purchases, particularly in non-physical (e.g., web-based) shopping environments, typically requires consumers to reveal their identity to the vendor at some point, it is important to understand how doing so earlier versus later in the shopping process affects consumers’ behavior in the store—such as whether they ultimately complete a purchase. The key finding is that requiring at-the-door identification deters store entry, but it also activates an implemental mindset in those consumers who choose to enter, rendering them more likely to make a purchase than if they are required to identify at-checkout. This purchase-promoting effect of at-the-door identification requests tends to outweigh its detrimental impact on store entry. In addition to advancing our conceptual understanding of the psychological dynamics of the shopping process, this research provides insights that have important practical implications for the design of shopping environments (e.g., at what point consumers should be prompted to log in). The second essay examines how the duration of a promotional deal affects consumers’ uptake of the offered promotion. At the core of this paper is the idea that the interplay between the greater flexibility provided by a longer redemption window and the greater urgency induced by a shorter redemption window tends to drive consumers’ responses to a promotional offer. The key finding is that whether a shorter or a longer redemption window renders consumers more likely to respond to a promotional offer depends on their mental readiness to act when they encounter the offer (i.e., whether they are in a more deliberative versus a more implemental mindset). When consumers are in a deliberative mindset, longer redemption windows tend to be more effective than shorter ones. The opposite is true when consumers are in an implemental mindset. This two-essay dissertation advances our understanding of the nuanced role of deliberative and implemental mindsets in consumer decision making.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-ssmj-n117
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.