Personal loan users’ mental integration of payment and consumption
Buying a good on a loan entails numerous consumption and payment episodes. Loan users can either mentally integrate or separate these episodes. In order to identify the actual mental structures, we conducted 29 semi-structured interviews with current and prospective loan users. A content analysis revealed that a majority of loan users established a hedonically efficient one-way connection from the loan to the good; i.e., the good was perceived as unrelated to the loan, whereas, concurrently, payments were buffered by thoughts of the good. Furthermore, the analysis revealed that mental structures are less stable than sometimes assumed.
KeywordsMental integration Hedonic editing Mental accounting Consumer credit
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