Extraneous Affect and Credit Card Offers

44 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2009

See all articles by J. Michael Collins

J. Michael Collins

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Alice M. Isen

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management; Cornell University -- Psychology Department

Date Written: June 19, 2008

Abstract

Credit cards are one of the most common forms of credit offered to consumers and one in which information is highly standardized through mandated disclosures. Three experiments examine the effects of affect inductions (mild positive or anxious affect) on the use of credit card disclosure information by college undergraduates. Overall, these consumers made use of federally mandated disclosures but also show evidence that their affect or mood influences the process. Participants in whom positive affect was induced were more likely to notice omitted or missing information in the disclosure as well as to seek more items of information than controls. This is consistent with positive affect being associated with broader and also more flexible thinking. These results suggest that credit disclosure policies should include all relevant information if a goal is more complete use of information by consumers across various moods. Also, activities which even briefly force consumers to use the information in a disclosure enhance the ability of those in non positive moods to use the disclosure.

Keywords: affect and cognition, consumer disclosures, financial decision making

JEL Classification: D18, D83

Suggested Citation

Collins, J. Michael and Isen, Alice M., Extraneous Affect and Credit Card Offers (June 19, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1524826 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1524826

J. Michael Collins (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

United States
6086160369 (Phone)

Alice M. Isen

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

359 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-4687 (Phone)

Cornell University -- Psychology Department ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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