Mind Your Friends and Family: When Feeling Socially Connected Leads to Cognitive Laziness

Project: Research

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Social connections are an integral part of our lives. We constantly interact with close friends and family in real life and encounter reminders of them on social media (e.g., Facebook timeline) and marketing communications (e.g., “friends & family events”). Despite various benefits of social relationships, we explore the novel hypothesis that feeling socially connected decreases deliberation, or the amount of cognitive effort people invest in decision making. We base our hypothesis on prior works that show close relationships offer security (Bowlby, 1982), and argue that the sense of social connectedness can reduce cognitive vigilance, or alertness, leading people to reduce cognitive effort and deliberate less. Our project adds to the consumer research on social influence and cognitive functioning. It also offers implications on improving consumer decision quality in an increasingly connected world. 


Project number9048158
Grant typeECS
Effective start/end date1/09/19 → …