Consumer Spending Self-Control Effectiveness and Outcome Elaboration Prompts

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Forthcoming

Posted: 22 Jan 2011

See all articles by Kelly Haws

Kelly Haws

Vanderbilt University - Marketing

William O. Bearden

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Gergana Y. Nenkov

Boston College - Carroll School of Management

Date Written: January 20, 2011

Abstract

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

Haws, Kelly and Bearden, William O. and Nenkov, Gergana Y., Consumer Spending Self-Control Effectiveness and Outcome Elaboration Prompts (January 20, 2011). Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1744275

Kelly Haws (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Marketing ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

William O. Bearden

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Gergana Y. Nenkov

Boston College - Carroll School of Management ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

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