Focusing on Desirability: The Effect of Decision Interruption and Suspension on Preferences
13 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2008 Last revised: 23 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 20, 2011
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.
Keywords: Preference, Choice, Interruption, Decision Making, Goals, Risk, Price Sensitivity, Desirability Feasibility, Construal Level, Psychological Distance, Top-down Processing, Bottom-up Processing
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