Washington, Sept 16 : A new study from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has revealed that even a brief interruption while making purchases can significantly effect purchasing decisions.
Lead researcher Wendy Liu of UCLA, conducted four different studies and examined the effects of interruption on purchase decisions and the preferences of decision-makers.
She found that even brief interruptions caused startling changes.
"This body of work forwards the view that people's decisions are often a result of cognitions and information processing made on the spot, rather than simply reflecting their innate likes and dislikes," said Liu.
"Thus seemingly innocuous events such as an interruption may affect decisions by changing the thought process," she added.
During the study, the participants were asked to make purchase choices for high-priced luxuries, high-risk investments, or hikes.
She discovered that people who are interrupted in a decision-making process shift their focus from a bottom-up, detail-oriented, and price-conscious process to one that is more top-down, goal-oriented, and price-insensitive.
After interruptions, people focus more on quality, satisfaction, and desirability than on feasibility and price.
"By taking a break from processing a decision, when the person resumes he/she is able to attend to information in a more selective and organized manner. Consequently, the person focuses on his/her primary goals in the decision," Liu said.
"Whether you choose to have an exotic vacation, invest in high-risk stocks, or buy that big plasma TV may depend on whether you were interrupted when making the decision," she added.
The study appears in the Journal of Consumer Research.