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"I" Follow My Heart and "We" Rely on Reasons: The Impact of Self-Construal on Reliance on Feelings versus Reasons in Decision Making

Jiewen Hong and Hannah H. Chang

Journal of Consumer Research, 2015, vol. 41, issue 6, 1392 - 1411

Abstract: Results from six experiments support the hypothesis that an accessible independent self-construal promotes a greater reliance on feelings in making judgments and decisions, whereas an accessible interdependent self-construal promotes a greater reliance on reasons. Specifically, compared to an interdependent self-construal, an independent self-construal increases the relative preference for affectively superior options as opposed to cognitively superior options (experiments 1A and 1B) and strengthens the effects of incidental mood on evaluations (experiment 2). Further, valuations of the decision outcome increase when independent (interdependent) consumers adopt a feeling-based (reason-based) decision strategy (experiment 3). Finally, these effects are moderated by decision focus (whether the decision is made for oneself or for others; experiment 4) and need for justification during decision making (experiment 5). Theoretical implications and managerial implications are discussed.

Date: 2015
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