Consumers are not always predictable when it comes to choosing products online—a concept that lies at the core of Cornell SC Johnson College’s latest research in consumer psychology.
In the paper “How Consumers Resolve Conflict over Branded Products: Evidence from Mouse Cursor Trajectories,” published in the Journal of Marketing Research, two Cornell faculty members used a novel mouse cursor-tracking method to reveal an intriguing interplay of cognitive processes that influence consumer decisions about brands and products.
Geoff Fisher, an associate professor at the Charles H. Dyson Applied School of Economics and Management, and Kaitlin Woolley, an associate professor at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, conducted several cursor-tracking studies for the article. In one, 46 students completed tasks involving 25 food brands (e.g., Chipotle, Shake Shack, Starbucks) and 39 clothing brands (e.g., J.Crew, Nike, Patagonia). In each task, participants made 200 choices between two items of different brands.