To Save or Discard? Extend or Hide? What We Believe We Do Drives the Effect of Actions on Thought Usage and Evaluation

59 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2018

See all articles by Tae Woo Kim

Tae Woo Kim

Indiana University

Adam Duhachek

Indiana University Bloomington

Pablo

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Richard Petty

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Psychology

Date Written: January 1, 2018

Abstract

This research posits that what consumers believe they are doing in actions related to their thoughts drives the impact of those thoughts on subsequent evaluations. We demonstrate that thoughts can be treated as if they were physical objects and that the actions performed related to their thoughts and the presumed meaning of those actions determine the impact of those thoughts on evaluative judgments. In this research, participants first wrote either positive or negative thoughts about various consumers’ products and services. Then, participants chose (study 1) or were assigned (studies 2, 3, and 4) to perform different actions with those written thoughts. The meanings of these actions were varied to indicate either high validity (e.g., saving, extending) or low validity (e.g., deleting, hiding) with respect to their thoughts. We hypothesized and found that performing actions associated with a meaning of validity (vs. invalidity) increased reliance on those thoughts in forming evaluations and behavioral intentions. Furthermore, the validity of those actions’ meanings impacted attitudes by affecting the proposed mediating mechanism (thought confidence). Among other implications, these findings provide the first mediational evidence regarding thought-objectification, extending the work on embodiment, meta-cognition, and consumer evaluation.

Keywords: embodiment, attitudes, persuasion, metacognition, validation, confidence

Suggested Citation

Kim, Tae Woo and Duhachek, Adam and Briñol, Pablo and Petty, Richard, To Save or Discard? Extend or Hide? What We Believe We Do Drives the Effect of Actions on Thought Usage and Evaluation (January 1, 2018). Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 18-32, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3095259

Tae Woo Kim (Contact Author)

Indiana University ( email )

Kelley School of Business
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Adam Duhachek

Indiana University Bloomington ( email )

Dept of Biology
100 South Indiana Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Pablo Briñol

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid ( email )

Campus Cantoblanco
C/Kelsen, 1
Madrid, Madrid 28049
Spain

Richard Petty

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Psychology ( email )

1885 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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