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

  • Davy Lerouge
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/599047
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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/599047
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    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 367 - 379

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:doi:10.1086/599047
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/

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