Mental resources increase preference for dissimilar experiences

Juliano Laran, Eva Buechel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

After having a utilitarian experience, consumers may prefer to have another utilitarian experience or a hedonic experience. Similarly, after having a hedonic experience, consumers may prefer to have another hedonic experience or a utilitarian experience. We propose that the cognitive processes involved in analyzing the benefits of an experience that differs on the hedonic-utilitarian dimension require mental resources. As a result, after having an initial experience, consumers who have (vs. do not have) a high level of mental resources are better able to identify the benefits of a dissimilar experience and show higher preference for this experience. This suggests that an initial utilitarian experience will lead to preference for a hedonic experience when consumers have a high level of mental resources available, but a utilitarian experience when they do not. These findings have implications for how consumers combine multiple experiences, seek pleasure, and exert self-control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-135
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Association for Consumer Research
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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