Using implementation intentions in shopping situations: How arousal can help shield consumers against temptations
Previous research has suggested that individuals who repeatedly experience self-regulatory failure in purchasing behavior have trouble shielding themselves against temptations. Because shopping is often accompanied by increased arousal, we examined whether attending to affective arousal could help people keep their attention focused. Before participants completed a visual distraction task embedded in a shopping context, we (a) instructed them to formulate an implementation intention with affective arousal as the eliciting cue and concentrating on the task as the intention, (b) instructed them to formulate the goal intention of concentrating on the task without mentioning an eliciting cue, or (c) gave them no further instructions. During the task, we recorded eye movements to measure the time they looked at the target products. The findings suggest that implementation intentions with affective arousal as an eliciting cue enable consumers who repeatedly perceive self-regulatory failure to focus their attention on their initial shopping goal.