“When Busy is Less Impulsive: Impact of Busy Mindset on Indulgent Consumption” by Ms. JeeHye Christine KIM
Ms. JeeHye Christine KIM
PhD Candidate in Marketing
In the last few decades, ‘busy’ has become one of the key descriptors of modern consumers, with an increasing number of people reporting that they are busier than ever. Accordingly, there has been an increasing use of ‘busy’ appeals in marketing which can serve as a cue to remind consumers of their busy lives. In this research, we examine how activating a busy mindset (i.e., perceiving oneself as being busy) impacts one’s decision to make indulgent choices (i.e., choices that have immediate hedonic benefits at the cost of future benefits). Drawing upon research in sociology suggesting that being busy is viewed positively and admired, we propose that activating a busy mindset could bolster one’s sense of self-importance. Given research suggesting that a bolstered sense of self helps self-control, we further argue that activating a busy mindset is likely to reduce indulgent consumption behaviors. Across five experiments and a field study, our findings show that activating a busy mindset reduces indulgent consumption behaviors. We further provide evidence for our underlying conceptualization related to bolstered self-importance and rule out alternative accounts related to stress and utilitarian mindset.