IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Personal loan users’ mental integration of payment and consumption


  • Bernadette Kamleitner


  • Erich Kirchler


Buying a good on a loan entails numerous consumption and payment episodes. Loan users can either mentally integrate or separate these episodes. In order to identify the actual mental structures, we conducted 29 semi-structured interviews with current and prospective loan users. A content analysis revealed that a majority of loan users established a hedonically efficient one-way connection from the loan to the good; i.e., the good was perceived as unrelated to the loan, whereas, concurrently, payments were buffered by thoughts of the good. Furthermore, the analysis revealed that mental structures are less stable than sometimes assumed. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Bernadette Kamleitner & Erich Kirchler, 2006. "Personal loan users’ mental integration of payment and consumption," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 281-294, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:mktlet:v:17:y:2006:i:4:p:281-294
    DOI: 10.1007/s11002-006-8521-9

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Soman, Dilip, 2001. " Effects of Payment Mechanism on Spending Behavior: The Role of Rehearsal and Immediacy of Payments," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(4), pages 460-474, March.
    2. Richard H. Thaler & Eric J. Johnson, 1990. "Gambling with the House Money and Trying to Break Even: The Effects of Prior Outcomes on Risky Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(6), pages 643-660, June.
    3. Ranyard, Rob & Craig, Gill, 1995. "Evaluating and budgeting with instalment credit: An interview study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 449-467, September.
    4. Ariely, Dan & Zauberman, Gal, 2003. "Differential partitioning of extended experiences," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 128-139, July.
    5. Duxbury, Darren & Keasey, Kevin & Zhang, Hao & Chow, Shue Loong, 2005. "Mental accounting and decision making: Evidence under reverse conditions where money is spent for time saved," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 567-580, August.
    6. Drazen Prelec & George Loewenstein, 1998. "The Red and the Black: Mental Accounting of Savings and Debt," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(1), pages 4-28.
    7. Schade, Christian & Kunreuther, Howard, 2002. "Worry and the illusion of safety: Evidence from a real-objects experiment," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,25, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    8. Hirst, D. Eric & Joyce, Edward J. & Schadewald, Michael S., 1994. "Mental Accounting and Outcome Contiguity in Consumer-Borrowing Decisions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 136-152, April.
    9. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    10. Heath, Chip & Soll, Jack B, 1996. " Mental Budgeting and Consumer Decisions," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 40-52, June.
    11. Gourville, John T & Soman, Dilip, 1998. " Payment Depreciation: The Behavioral Effects of Temporally Separating Payments from Consumption," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 160-174, September.
    12. Sarah Brown & Gaia Garino & Karl Taylor & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2005. "Debt and Financial Expectations: An Individual- and Household-Level Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(1), pages 100-120, January.
    13. Gourville, John T, 1998. " Pennies-a-Day: The Effect of Temporal Reframing on Transaction Evaluation," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 395-408, March.
    14. Read, Daniel & Loewenstein, George & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Choice Bracketing," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 171-197, December.
    15. Arkes, Hal R. & Blumer, Catherine, 1985. "The psychology of sunk cost," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 124-140, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bernadette Kamleitner & Bianca Hornung & Erich Kirchler, 2010. "Over-indebtedness and the interplay of factual and mental money management: An interview study," Working Papers 34, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    2. Hoelzl, Erik & Pollai, Maria & Kamleitner, Bernadette, 2009. "Experience, prediction and recollection of loan burden," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 446-454, June.
    3. Kirchler, Erich & Hoelzl, Erik & Kamleitner, Bernadette, 2008. "Spending and credit use in the private household," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 519-532, April.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:mktlet:v:17:y:2006:i:4:p:281-294. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.