Don't burn out: Enjoy your favorite products more by consuming them less frequently

Aug 15, 2012

Consumers enjoy products more in the long run if they don't overuse them when first purchased, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"Consumers are naturally prone to consume products they enjoy too rapidly for their own good, growing tired of them more quickly than they would if they slowed down," write authors Jeff Galak (Carnegie Mellon University), Justin Kruger (New York University), and George Loewenstein (Carnegie Mellon University).

We often face decisions about how rapidly to consume products we enjoy: how quickly to eat a favorite ; how often to listen to a favorite song; or how frequently to play a new video game. But do we make choices that maximize our enjoyment of such products? It turns out that there may a selfish reason to resist the to overindulge.

The authors asked consumers to eat a well-liked food such as chocolate or play an exciting either at their own pace or at longer intervals. When consumers were given the ability to choose a rate of consumption and that decision was constrained to force them to consume slowly, they enjoyed the overall experience more than those who either chose their rate of consumption in an unconstrained manner or those whose rate of consumption was chosen for them.

Because consumers choose to consume too quickly, they don't appreciate that spacing out consumption decreases satiation and thereby increases enjoyment. Paradoxically, we tend to make choices that will bring us less pleasure overall.

"When you are lucky enough to be able to choose how often to consume the things you enjoy, space out your . Not only will the experience last longer, but it will be more enjoyable as well," the authors conclude.

Explore further: How does calling, texting and emailing affect teens socially?

More information: Jeff Galak, Justin Kruger, and George Loewenstein. "Slow Down! Insensitivity to Rate of Consumption Leads to Avoidable Satiation." Journal of Consumer Research: February 2013.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How do mood and emotional arousal affect consumer choices?

Mar 15, 2012

When they're in a positive mood, people tend to choose products that match their mood and their level of emotional arousal, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research. But crabby, low-energy people will s ...

Recommended for you

Scholar tracks the changing world of gay sexuality

5 hours ago

With same-sex marriage now legalized in 19 states and laws making it impossible to ban homosexuals from serving in the military, gay, lesbian and bisexual people are now enjoying more freedoms and rights than ever before.

User comments : 0