People need to allocate their limited cognitive resources to current and future tasks. We provide evidence that anticipating the resource demands of a future task creates a "get ready mind-set" that mobilizes these resources. However, the mobilized resources for the future task can carry over to unrelated current tasks. This implies the counterintuitive notion that anticipating difficult tasks in the future leads to greater effort expenditure on unrelated tasks in the present. We also demonstrate that resource carryover is particularly likely when consumers' ability to separate tasks is low, whereas resource conservation is more likely when ability to separate is high.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Economics and Econometrics