Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Mochon’

Research Notes: Daniel Mochon and Janet Schwartz

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Daniel Mochon


Janet Schwartz

Daniel Mochon and Janet Schwartz’s paper “Gain without pain: The extended effects of a behavioral health intervention” has been accepted for publication in Management Science. Financial incentive programs are an attractive way to for firms to help customers improve health behaviors such as better nutrition, increased exercise, better medication adherence and smoking cessation. While research from behavioral economics shows that these programs can improve a specific health behavior while financial incentives are in place, less is known about how they influence people’s behavior in other areas or after the incentives stop. For firms hoping to leverage insights from behavioral economics on a large scale basis, these effects are crucial to understand. If a nutrition intervention gets people to eat healthier for some period of time, but also causes them to stop exercising then there may be little overall value in this approach. In the paper, Mochon and Schwartz examine these important questions. Their research, conducted in collaboration with Discovery Health, looked at the extended impact of imposing a financial penalty on customers who failed to improve their nutrition behavior. Those customers, whose households were receiving a generous 25 percent discount on healthy groceries, agreed to put their discount on the line by promising to increase their healthy food purchases. For each of the following six months, those who met the goal kept their discount; but those who did not had to repay it to the company. Although this precommitment was a somewhat painful and irrational approach, the intervention successfully helped households improve their healthy grocery shopping during the entire intervention. In fact, Mochon and Schwartz found that these households even continued their new healthy habits for six months after the penalty was removed. Buying more healthy food did not lead people to become lax in other areas of their health — those who agreed to the penalty exercised just as much as they had before. And, despite imposing a penalty on loyal customers, the results showed that overall customer engagement was not reduced. Taken together, the authors demonstrate how insights from behavioral economics can be implemented on a large scale basis, and can be done without compromising health in other domains or threatening customer loyalty. Mochon and Schwartz are assistant professors of marketing at the A. B. Freeman School of Business.

Research Notes: Daniel Mochon

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Mochon-236x236Assistant Professor of Marketing Daniel Mochon received the Society for Consumer Psychology’s 2015 C.W. Park Outstanding Contribution to the Field Award for his paper “The IKEA effect: When labor leads to love.” The award was presented at the society’s winter 2015 conference in Phoenix.  The paper, which Mochon co-authored with Michael Norton and Dan Ariely, suggests that individuals attach greater value to products they create themselves than those products might objectively deserve. It originally appeared in the Journal of Consumer Psychology in 2012.

Research Notes: Prof. Daniel Mochon

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Daniel Mochon recently had two papers accepted for publication. Mochon’s paper “Single option aversion” was accepted for publication in Journal of Consumer Research, and his paper “Anchoring in sequential judgments,” co-authored with Shane W. Frederick, was accepted for publication in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Mochon is an assistant professor of marketing at the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.

NPR: Why You Love That Ikea Table, Even If It’s Crooked

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013



From, Feb. 6, 2013

NPR’s Shankar Vedantam interviewed Daniel Mochon, assistant professor of marketing, for a Morning Edition segment about Mochon’s research into the so-called Ikea Effect.

“Imagine that, you know, you built a table,” said Daniel Mochon, a Tulane University marketing professor, who has studied the phenomenon. “Maybe it came out a little bit crooked. Probably your wife or your neighbor would see it for what it is, you know? A shoddy piece of workmanship. But to you that table might seem really great, because you’re the one who created it. It’s the fruit of your labor. And that is really the idea behind the Ikea Effect.”

To hear the entire segment, visit

Love DIY projects? It’s the Ikea effect

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

So it turns out there’s a reason why you could never throw out that wobbly old bookcase you put together in college. Call it the Ikea effect.

Daniel Mochon

Assistant Professor of Marketing Daniel Mochon says consumers tend to value self-made products more than similar professionally assembled products. Photo by Sabree Hill.

In a forthcoming article in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Tulane researcher Daniel Mochon argues that consumers tend to value products they build themselves—such as furniture from Ikea—more than similar professionally built products.

“Usually when people think of building their own furniture, they think it’s sort of foisting cost onto the consumer and therefore it reduces value,” explains Mochon, assistant professor of marketing at Tulane’s Freeman School of Business. “But what we find is that people actually come to love the things they have created.”

In a series of experiments, Mochon and co-authors Michael I. Norton and Dan Ariely asked subjects to build simple items—such as Ikea storage boxes or origami figures—and then compared their willingness to pay for those items to their willingness to pay for similar pre-assembled products. Surprisingly, participants were routinely willing to pay more for the items they put together than for the professionally assembled items.

Mochon attributes the phenomenon to what psychologists refer to as the need for effectance.

“People just have a fundamental need to feel like they can intervene in the world,” says Mochon. “By creating stuff, they have a way to signal to themselves and others that they can intervene. I think that’s why people love do-it-yourself projects so much. It’s a way to show you have control over the world.”

The researchers’ findings also help to explain the popularity of sites like YouTube, which rely on user-generated content. Mochon says users get the same kind of satisfaction from uploading a self-made video that they get from assembling an Ikea bookshelf.

“People love their own videos,” says Mochon, who teaches a course on social media marketing at the Freeman School. “They see that badly focused video of their cat jumping on a sofa bed as the most amazing thing in the world because they created it themselves.”


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