Katie S. Mehr is a second-year PhD student in the Decision Processes group. Her primary research interests include consumer behavior, judgement and decision making, and behavior change. Before starting her PhD, Katie graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University – New Brunswick with a BA in Economics and minors in Mathematics and Statistics.
Abstract: Consumers often struggle to achieve self-set, life-improvement goals. We introduce a novel, psychologically wise nudge—the copy-paste prompt—that encourages consumers to seek out and mimic a goal-achievement strategy used by an acquaintance. In a large (N = 1,028), preregistered, longitudinal study, participants randomly assigned to receive a copy-paste prompt spend more time exercising the following week than participants assigned to either a quasi-yoked or simple control condition. The benefits of copy-paste prompts are mediated by the usefulness of the adopted exercise strategy, commitment to using it, effort put into finding it, and the frequency of social interaction with people who exercise regularly. These findings suggest that further research on the potential of this virtually costless nudge is warranted.