Extraneous Affect and Credit Card Offers
44 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2009
Date Written: June 19, 2008
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: Suggested Citation