Shopping Impulse? Reflect First.

A simple method may counteract a consumer’s desire to buy.

Shopping elements

Consumers who reflected on their recently used personal belongings experienced less desire for an unexpectedly encountered product, were less likely to buy impulsively and expressed a lower willingness to pay for new products, said Utpal Dholakia, the George R. Brown Chair of Marketing and Professor of Management. Along with doctoral students Jihye Jung and Nivriti Chowdhry, Dholakia studies the theory that the desire to consume, like willpower, may function as a limited motivational resource that becomes depleted upon reflecting about favored personal possessions. “Reflection is about thinking deeply and remembering in detail how you used any one of your possessions recently,” Dholakia said.
— Jeff Falk