Parenting motivation, the inspiration and drive to take care of one's children, is a powerful instinct for facilitating human reproduction. In a set of hypotheses, the authors address how, why, and among whom parenting motivation affects a pervasive decision-making tendency, namely, variety seeking. Six studies, including a large-scale panel data study and five online and lab studies, show that, when shopping, parenting motivation spurs feelings of time crunch that result in less variety seeking among consumers. The effect is diminished when time-saving parenting support exists (which reduces feelings of time crunch in parenting), when consumers are led to believe that they have sufficient time available for shopping, and when they do not have much loyalty to any brand offered in the choice set and thus cannot save time by simply choosing the top-of-mind product option. The current research thus contributes to the growing literature on how parenting motivation affects consumer decision making. In addition, it augments the literature on variety seeking by identifying an important factor that can influence it.
Consumers often need to schedule different activities. While consumers who adopt a clock-time scheduling style decide when to transition from one activity to the next according to external temporal cues (e.g., clock), those who adopt an event-time scheduling style tend to perform each activity until they feel internally that it is completed. This research showed that consumers' scheduling style (clock-time vs. event-time) could influence their satiation with repeated consumption. Four studies involving actual consumption across various domains (e.g., music, artwork, food) demonstrated that an event-time scheduling style leads to more rapid satiation with repeated consumption than a clock-time scheduling style because event-timers (vs. clock-timers) have higher private self-focus. The results further revealed that the satiation effect of scheduling style is mitigated when consumers are distracted from their private self or informed of additional sensitization cues in the consumption stimuli.
People’s schedules are jointly determined by their biological clock and social clock. However, their social clock often deviates from the biological clock (e.g., having to get up earlier than one’s natural wake-up time for work or study, having to stay up to work night shifts or meet a project deadline)—a phenomenon known as “social jetlag.” How does social jetlag impact consumer behavior? Using field data and experiments, we show that social jetlag decreases conspicuous consumption because consumers experiencing social jetlag are less interested in social interaction. This effect is weakened when social interaction occurs among familiar others rather than strangers, when conspicuous consumption does not draw social attention, and when consumers expect to use a luxury product in a private setting.