Navigation Links
Virtual boundaries: How environmental cues affect motivation and task-oriented behavior

NEW YORK - September 21, 2012 - Much of our daily lives are spent completing tasks that involve a degree of waiting, such as remaining on hold while scheduling a doctor's appointment or standing in line at an ATM. Faced with a wait, some people postpone, avoid, or abandon their task. Others endure the wait but feel dissatisfied and frustrated by the experience.

Are there ways to improve our outlook and mindset while waiting? A new study shows that seemingly irrelevant environmental cuessuch as queue guides, or barriers commonly used in banks and airportscan serve as virtual boundaries that divide those waiting into two categories: those who are inside the system and those who are outside the system. In several experiments, Leonard Lee, associate professor of marketing at Columbia Business School, working with Min Zhao and Dilip Soman of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, showed that in-system individuals demonstrate increased action initiation, persistence in completing tasks, and overall optimism.

Prior studies have shown that situational cues can have a significant impact on behavior. For example, playing French music in a wine shop has been shown to increase purchases of French wine. This new research shows that even cues that are not directly related to an individual's goal can have a substantial effect in a task environment, influencing cognition and the subsequent manner in which the task is completed.

Consciously and unconsciously, people tend to locate physical markers in their environments to create and define boundaries. The researchers explored whether objects and patterns in a waiting environmentranging from queue guides and area carpets to the location of another personcan create virtual boundaries that divide those waiting between in-system and out-system categories. After crossing the virtual boundary, the researchers hypothesized, an individual would adopt an implemental mindset, which is characterized by a more optimistic view of goal-relevant information and greater action-orientation.

To test their hypothesis, the researchers conducted studies that examined how environmental cues activate the implemental mindset, both behaviorally and cognitively. In one experiment, the researchers placed queue guides at various distances from a busy ATM, so that some of those waiting were in-system and others were out-system. The in-system customers were more likely to remain in line to complete their transaction, the researchers found. A separate study using queue guides showed that the point at which customers initiated task-related actionin this case, taking their ATM cards from their wallets or pursescorresponded to the point at which they crossed the virtual boundary and entered the in-system category.

These findings add to the growing literature on the unconscious effects of environmental cues on motivations and behavior. In addition to its application to everyday tasks, using cues to activate the implemental mindset may have broader implications in cases in which the decision to wait can have serious consequences. For example, motivating patients waiting for a kidney transplant to maintain an optimistic outlook can have a beneficial effect on their well-being. A short call from a nurse could serve as a virtual boundary that grants in-system status and raises patients' spirits, the researchers suggest.


Contact: Evan Nowell
Columbia Business School

Related medicine news :

1. Virtual reality simulator helps teach surgery for brain cancer, reports Neurosurgery
2. Virtual Patients New Addition to Psychiatry?
3. Virtual Colonoscopy Safe, Effective for Medicare Patients: Study
4. EliNext Completes Development of a Series of Virtual Reality Interactive 5D Simulation Games on Unity 3D
5. Insulite Labs announces the launch of the PCOS Inspiration Hour, a one hour virtual gathering place for women with PCOS and other women’s health issues to come together.
6. Environmental Gene-Swapping May Play Part in Antibiotic Resistance
7. Jaeckle Fleischmann Environmental Attorneys Recover Additional $5 Million for Solvent Chemical
8. Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment announces 2012 Environmental Venture Project awards
9. Lack of sleep affects bone health and bone marrow activity
10. Passive smoking also affects neurodevelopment in babies
11. Psych, Sleep Meds May Affect Driving
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... The directory is specialized and only includes chiropractic clinics in the US. , ... and trustworthy alternative health practitioner when back pain sets in. When people are ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... On Saturday, October 24th, 2015, at the Mill Race Park in Downtown ... walk known as “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer”. Patients and staff members from A ... Battle Creek, joined in for this campaign that sought to raise donations that will ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... Rick Sommer, president of Intellitec Solutions, ... of Information Systems course. Based in Wilmington Delaware, Intellitec Solutions is an established ... student in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems class. The course focuses on ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... RoamRight, a leading provider of ... Public Television’s Travel With Kids to promote family vacations around the world. ... they explore international destinations and educate families about the people and places of the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... top choice for innovative, patient centered orthopedic care. Led by John Vitolo, ... your injury or chronic condition, the team at Advocare Orthopedic & Sports Medicine ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , Nov. 30, ... has been the norm in U.S. medical ... obsolete. The increasingly popular accountable care payer-provider ... payment models and, in their wake, alter ... or quality-based payments will push forward new ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015 Cumberland Pharmaceuticals (CPIX), today announced that A.J. ... on December 3, 2015. TIME: 3:15p.m. ET LINK: ... LINK: --> DATE: Thursday, ... --> --> This ... invited to ask the company questions in real-time - both ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR ) has signed ... Apollo Hospitals Group, the largest hospital chain in India ... technologists in the country. The MoU was signed by Dr. ... Ashok Kakkar , Varian,s India managing director, ... , Varian intends to deploy its Access to Care program ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: