Focusing on Desirability: The Effect of Decision Interruption and Suspension on Preferences
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management
January 20, 2011
Journal of Consumer Research, Forthcoming
This research examines the phenomenon of interruptions and suspensions in decision making. It is proposed that information processing may change from a bottom-up data-driven to a top-down goal-directed mode after an interruption, thereby affecting preferences. In particular, in decisions involving desirability and feasibility conflicts, because desirability is a superordinate goal to feasibility, four studies found that when a decision is interrupted and later resumed, people become more likely to favor a highly desirable but less feasible consumption, such as a high-risk high-reward option, or a high-quality high-price option. A reduced focus on feasibility is found to underlie this effect.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13
Keywords: Preference, Choice, Interruption, Decision Making, Goals, Risk, Price Sensitivity, Desirability Feasibility, Construal Level, Psychological Distance, Top-down Processing, Bottom-up Processing
Date posted: January 24, 2008 ; Last revised: January 23, 2011