When up Brings you Down: The Effects of Imagined Vertical Movements on Motivation, Performance, and Consumer Behavior

Massimiliano Ostinelli, David Luna, Torsten Ringberg

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Previous embodied cognition research suggests that “up” is associated with positivity (e.g., good, divine), whereas “down” is associated with negativity (e.g., bad, evil). We focus on the effect of vertical movements on consumer behavior and go beyond investigating mere affective associations of verticality. In five studies, we provide evidence that the mental simulation of vertical movements has counterintuitive effects on behavior—that is, imagining moving up hampers motivation and performance by boosting self-worth. A pilot study shows that the imagination of vertical movements affects self-worth. Studies 1, 2 and 3 show that imagining upward movements (e.g., taking an elevator ride up or taking off in an airplane) diminishes motivation as well as performance. Studies 4 and 5 show that imagining moving upward (downward) makes people feel better (worse) about themselves which, in turn, decreases (increases) their motivation to succeed on a subsequent task, hence worsening (improving) performance. This occurs independently of respondents' mood.
Previous embodied cognition research suggests that “up” is associated with positivity (e.g., good, divine), whereas “down” is associated with negativity (e.g., bad, evil). We focus on the effect of vertical movements on consumer behavior and go beyond investigating mere affective associations of verticality. In five studies, we provide evidence that the mental simulation of vertical movements has counterintuitive effects on behavior—that is, imagining moving up hampers motivation and performance by boosting self-worth. A pilot study shows that the imagination of vertical movements affects self-worth. Studies 1, 2 and 3 show that imagining upward movements (e.g., taking an elevator ride up or taking off in an airplane) diminishes motivation as well as performance. Studies 4 and 5 show that imagining moving upward (downward) makes people feel better (worse) about themselves which, in turn, decreases (increases) their motivation to succeed on a subsequent task, hence worsening (improving) performance. This occurs independently of respondents' mood.
LanguageEnglish
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Volume24
Issue number2
Pages271-283
ISSN1057-7408
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Embodied cognition
  • Mental simulation
  • Mental imagery
  • Self-worth
  • Compensatory consumer behavior

Cite this

@article{b90c878fd0b849059605bd0cda532c79,
title = "When up Brings you Down: The Effects of Imagined Vertical Movements on Motivation, Performance, and Consumer Behavior",
abstract = "Previous embodied cognition research suggests that “up” is associated with positivity (e.g., good, divine), whereas “down” is associated with negativity (e.g., bad, evil). We focus on the effect of vertical movements on consumer behavior and go beyond investigating mere affective associations of verticality. In five studies, we provide evidence that the mental simulation of vertical movements has counterintuitive effects on behavior—that is, imagining moving up hampers motivation and performance by boosting self-worth. A pilot study shows that the imagination of vertical movements affects self-worth. Studies 1, 2 and 3 show that imagining upward movements (e.g., taking an elevator ride up or taking off in an airplane) diminishes motivation as well as performance. Studies 4 and 5 show that imagining moving upward (downward) makes people feel better (worse) about themselves which, in turn, decreases (increases) their motivation to succeed on a subsequent task, hence worsening (improving) performance. This occurs independently of respondents' mood.",
keywords = "Embodied cognition, Mental simulation, Mental imagery, Self-worth, Compensatory Consumer behavior, Embodied cognition, Mental simulation, Mental imagery, Self-worth, Compensatory consumer behavior",
author = "Massimiliano Ostinelli and David Luna and Torsten Ringberg",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1016/j.jcps.2013.12.001",
language = "English",
volume = "24",
pages = "271--283",
journal = "Journal of Consumer Psychology",
issn = "1057-7408",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "2",

}

When up Brings you Down : The Effects of Imagined Vertical Movements on Motivation, Performance, and Consumer Behavior. / Ostinelli, Massimiliano; Luna, David; Ringberg, Torsten.

In: Journal of Consumer Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2014, p. 271-283.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - When up Brings you Down

T2 - Journal of Consumer Psychology

AU - Ostinelli,Massimiliano

AU - Luna,David

AU - Ringberg,Torsten

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Previous embodied cognition research suggests that “up” is associated with positivity (e.g., good, divine), whereas “down” is associated with negativity (e.g., bad, evil). We focus on the effect of vertical movements on consumer behavior and go beyond investigating mere affective associations of verticality. In five studies, we provide evidence that the mental simulation of vertical movements has counterintuitive effects on behavior—that is, imagining moving up hampers motivation and performance by boosting self-worth. A pilot study shows that the imagination of vertical movements affects self-worth. Studies 1, 2 and 3 show that imagining upward movements (e.g., taking an elevator ride up or taking off in an airplane) diminishes motivation as well as performance. Studies 4 and 5 show that imagining moving upward (downward) makes people feel better (worse) about themselves which, in turn, decreases (increases) their motivation to succeed on a subsequent task, hence worsening (improving) performance. This occurs independently of respondents' mood.

AB - Previous embodied cognition research suggests that “up” is associated with positivity (e.g., good, divine), whereas “down” is associated with negativity (e.g., bad, evil). We focus on the effect of vertical movements on consumer behavior and go beyond investigating mere affective associations of verticality. In five studies, we provide evidence that the mental simulation of vertical movements has counterintuitive effects on behavior—that is, imagining moving up hampers motivation and performance by boosting self-worth. A pilot study shows that the imagination of vertical movements affects self-worth. Studies 1, 2 and 3 show that imagining upward movements (e.g., taking an elevator ride up or taking off in an airplane) diminishes motivation as well as performance. Studies 4 and 5 show that imagining moving upward (downward) makes people feel better (worse) about themselves which, in turn, decreases (increases) their motivation to succeed on a subsequent task, hence worsening (improving) performance. This occurs independently of respondents' mood.

KW - Embodied cognition

KW - Mental simulation

KW - Mental imagery

KW - Self-worth

KW - Compensatory Consumer behavior

KW - Embodied cognition

KW - Mental simulation

KW - Mental imagery

KW - Self-worth

KW - Compensatory consumer behavior

U2 - 10.1016/j.jcps.2013.12.001

DO - 10.1016/j.jcps.2013.12.001

M3 - Journal article

VL - 24

SP - 271

EP - 283

JO - Journal of Consumer Psychology

JF - Journal of Consumer Psychology

SN - 1057-7408

IS - 2

ER -