Influence of Warm versus Cool Temperatures on Consumer Choice: A Resource Depletion Account
Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming
44 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2012
Date Written: May 1, 2012
Across five studies, the authors demonstrate that warm (versus cool) temperatures deplete resources, increase System 1 processing, and influence performance on complex choice tasks. Real-world lottery data (Pilot Study) and a lab experiment (Study 1) demonstrate the effect of temperature on complex choice: individuals are less likely to make difficult gambles in warmer temperatures. Study 2 implicates resource depletion as the underlying process; warm temperatures lower cognitive performance for non-depleted individuals, but don’t affect the performance of depleted individuals. Study 3 illustrates the moderating role of task complexity to show that warm temperatures are depleting and decrease willingness to make a difficult product choice. Study 4 juxtaposes the effects of depletion and temperature to reveal that warm temperatures hamper performance on complex tasks because of the participants’ increased reliance on System 1 (heuristic) processing.
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