Consumer Spending Self-Control Effectiveness and Outcome Elaboration Prompts
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Forthcoming
Posted: 22 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 20, 2011
Decision making related to finances is of significant importance. A major factor underlying financial decision making involves differences in consumers’ spending self-control (CSSC). We conceptualize CSSC as an individual difference, distinct from general self-control, develop a parsimonious measure to assess it, and demonstrate important related consequences and behaviors. Further, we examine how underlying differences in CSSC impact the effectiveness of a self-control strategy that has recently received a lot of attention in public policy legislation – enhancing consumers’ awareness of the future consequences of present behavior through the provision of outcome elaboration prompts. Results from our studies suggest that outcome elaboration prompts (that is, external stimuli used to encourage consumers to consider the future outcomes of their present decisions) differentially impact consumers’ self-control effectiveness depending on their inherent CSSC. Specifically, the presence of outcome elaboration prompts enhances self-control for low CSSC consumers, but does not affect the choices of high CSSC consumers. Furthermore, we provide direct evidence that it is a differential focus on future outcomes that drives the distinct responses of high- versus low-CSSC consumers to the provision of outcome elaboration prompts.
Keywords: Self-control, spending, outcome elaboration prompts, future outcome elaboration, credit cards, goals
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation