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Rejecting Options Increases Commitment after Option Evaluation

Jen H. Park and Itamar Simonson, under review

Are all rejections created equal? Or are some rejections stronger than other ones? We explore the role of rejection strength (“explicit rejection” vs. “implicit rejection”) on consumers’ willingness to make a final selection or purchase. Based on seven experiments that mimic swiping apps and online shopping experience, we find that compared to implicit rejections (i.e., decision to look at other options), explicit rejections (i.e., decision to reject an option) increase psychological closure with respect to the rejected options, thereby purchase likelihood from the consideration set.


Subjective Rejections: Consumers Rely on Personal Taste versus Quality Cues When Making Rejections

Jen H. Park and Itamar Simonson, manuscript in prep

What do consumers do when the objective quality information conflicts with their subjective preference (e.g., a product that fits their personal taste has a low rating)? We propose that the way consumers resolve this quality–taste conflict is contingent on whether they approach their decision as a choice or rejection: People who reject (vs. choose) options are more likely to keep options that align with personal taste and reason their decision based on their preferences  over quality cues.


The Simple Act of Clicking Can Facilitate Motivated Reasoning for Indulgent Choices

Jen H. Park, Szu-chi Huang, and Aradhna Krishna, manuscript in prep

Can the simple act of clicking to read more information change what consumers remember and ultimately choose? This paper finds that consumers who click/scan QR codes to retrieve additional information are more likely to remember the information favorably (recall more positive reviews than negative reviews, recall the ratings as higher than actual) that supports their preferences. This effect occurs especially for indulgent choices (e.g., hedonic mobile apps) compared to non-indulgent choices (e.g., utilitarian mobile apps) and regardless of whether people click by free choice or force.


Subjective Age and the Greater Good

Jen H. Park,* Szu-chi Huang,* Bella Rozenkrants, and Daniella Kupor Journal of Consumer Psychology (2020)

How can we promote an environment that encourages people to help others? We manipulate whether individuals feel subjectively older or younger (e.g., compare yourself at 15 or 80) and find that feeling older can increase the responsibility they feel for—and thus their willingness to help— others in need. We document this phenomenon in both the laboratory and the field with real prosocial behavior (e.g., donate to a charity, write thank-you notes to staff) and cultivate a willingness in individuals to contribute to the greater good of society.

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