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Evaluating the Benefits of Distraction on Product Evaluations: The Mind-Set Effect


  • Davy Lerouge


Past research in consumer behavior typically assumes that distraction during the decision process needs to be avoided. However, a common piece of advice given to consumers who have to make complex decisions is to distract their attention away from the decision problem for some moments. The current research shows that distraction can indeed help consumers to differentiate attractive from unattractive products. Yet this occurs only for consumers with a configural mind-set who tend to form coherent representations of products in their memory. For consumers with a featural mind-set, who typically hold mixed product representations, distraction does not affect product evaluations. This implies that it is the specific processing mind-set of consumers that determines whether distraction leads to more product differentiation or not.

Suggested Citation

  • Davy Lerouge, 2009. "Evaluating the Benefits of Distraction on Product Evaluations: The Mind-Set Effect," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 367-379.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:doi:10.1086/599047

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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Nieuwenstein & Hedderik van Rijn, 2012. "The unconscious thought advantage: Further replication failures from a search for confirmatory evidence," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(6), pages 779-798, November.
    2. Jung Min Jang & Song Oh Yoon, 2016. "The effect of attribute-based and alternative-based processing on consumer choice in context," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 511-524, September.
    3. Carolina Werle & Brian Wansink & Collin Payne, 2015. "Is it fun or exercise? The framing of physical activity biases subsequent snacking," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 691-702, December.
    4. Laurent Waroquier & David Marchiori & Olivier Klein & Axel Cleeremans, 2009. "Methodological pitfalls of the Unconscious Thought paradigm," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 4(7), pages 601-610, December.
    5. repec:eee:jouret:v:93:y:2017:i:2:p:187-200 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Balazs Aczel & Bence Lukacs & Judit Komlos & Michael R. F. Aitken, 2011. "Unconscious intuition or conscious analysis? Critical questions for the Deliberation-Without-Attention paradigm," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(4), pages 351-358, June.
    7. V. I. Yukalov & D. Sornette, 2014. "Manipulating decision making of typical agents," Papers 1409.0636,

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