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Article Title

From Thinking to Action

Abstract

Recent developments in embodied cognition suggest that people process environmental information by using their bodily state and mental simulation. The focus of embodiment theory is that cognitive processing is based on the interaction among the body, the mind, and the world. Based on embodied theories of cognition, the authors predict that when the representation of marathon running is activated, bodily feedback such as tiredness and thirst will occur because mental simulation of marathon running contains sensorimotor representation of marathon running. As a result, it is predicted that participants primed with marathon runner will have more desire to have products that enable thirsty-quenching. Specifically, this research proposes that consumers’ tendency to adopt the perspective of others influences embodied cognition, since perspective taking leads people to assimilate their own self- judgments and behaviors toward the cognitive representations of others. An experiment reveals that both perceptual and cognitive perspective taking tendencies moderate how participants respond to the contextual cues. The effect of perspective taking is moderated by whether participants are prompted to adopt a first-person view or a third-person view. In detail, among the high perspective takers, those in the marathon-first-person condition drink more the mineral water than those in the marathon- third-person condition, who in turn drink more the mineral water than those in the control condition. Among the low perceptual perspective takers, however, there are no significant differences in the amount of mineral water intake. This research delivers important insights for advertising messages. When being exposed to an advertisement, high perspective taking consumers may be more engaged in the advertised message than low perspective taking consumers, which in turn high (vs. low) perspective taking consumers’ tendency to respond behaviorally consistent with the message may be higher. Based on the findings of this research, if the message induces the high perspective taking consumers to have a first- (vs. third-) person view, this effect may be stronger. Moreover, if the advertising message contains behaviors, such as using the target product, inducing consumers to mimic the behaviors seems to bring more behavioral responses which marketers intend.

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