This research demonstrates how service firms can encourage decisions that enhance consumers’ well-being through informational social influence. Specifically, we propose that social information regarding the beneficial behaviors of others is enhanced under a deliberative mind-set. Given the financial insecurity of consumers, as well as the potential for financial services firms to positively affect consumers’ savings decisions, we test this theorizing in the context of savings. Four studies demonstrate that the open-mindedness associated with the deliberative mind-set increases the effectiveness of providing high savings social information (i.e., information about the high savings rates of others). This effect does not occur for consumers with chronically high susceptibility to interpersonal influence, who are open-minded to social information regardless of mind-set, but is stronger for myopically focused consumers who otherwise may be most likely to discount high savings information. Results suggest that financial services firms may improve consumers’ financial well-being by providing high savings social information and eliciting a deliberative mind-set in financial brochures, educational programs, and interactions with financial advisors. Implications for how service firms can utilize a deliberative mind-set and informational influence to enhance consumer well-being by encouraging beneficial behaviors like saving, exercising, or energy conservation, which conflict with existing desires, are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Information Systems
- Sociology and Political Science
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management