Right here, right now: situated interventions to change consumer habits

Best, M. and Papies, E. K. (2017) Right here, right now: situated interventions to change consumer habits. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 2(3), pp. 333-358. (doi: 10.1086/695443)

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Consumer behavior-change interventions have traditionally encouraged consumers to form conscious intentions, but in the past decade it has been shown that while these interventions have a medium-to-large effect in changing intentions, they have a much smaller effect in changing behavior. Consumers often do not act in accordance with their conscious intentions because situational cues in the immediate environment automatically elicit learned, habitual behaviors. It has therefore been suggested that researchers refocus their efforts on developing interventions that target unconscious, unintentional influences on behavior, such as cue-behavior (“habit”) associations. To develop effective consumer behavior-change interventions, however, we argue that it is first important to understand how consumer experiences are represented in memory, in order to successfully target the situational cues that most strongly predict engagement in habitual behavior. In this article, we present a situated cognition perspective of habits and discuss how the situated cognition perspective extends our understanding of how consumer experiences are represented in memory, and the processes through which these situational representations can be retrieved in order to elicit habitual consumer behaviors. Based on the principles of situated cognition, we then discuss five ways that interventions could change consumer habits by targeting situational cues in the consumer environment and suggest how existing interventions utilizing these behavior-change strategies could be improved by integrating the principles of the situated cognition approach.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Papies, Dr Esther and Best, Dr Maisy
Authors: Best, M., and Papies, E. K.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Journal of the Association for Consumer Research
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN (Online):2378-1823
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Association for Consumer Research
First Published:First published in Journal of the Association for Consumer Research 2(3):333-358
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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