Too busy to (lose) control? The influence of busyness and sense of power on consumers’ food responses

Zixi (Lavi) Peng, Anqi (Angie) Luo, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Busyness is prevalent for modern consumers, but there is limited understanding of how it affects consumers’ food-related responses. The current research addresses this knowledge gap by proposing that subjective busyness has a varying impact on consumers’ responses to indulgent food, depending on their sense of power. Through two studies, we find that powerless (vs. powerful) consumers respond more favorably to indulgent food when busy. Study 1 explores the proposed effect by measuring participants’ busyness and power. Study 2 uses a priming task to induce incidental busyness and shows that powerless (vs. powerful) consumers tend to engage in affective (vs. cognitive) information processing to make indulgent food choices. Our study offers valuable practical implications for public policymakers, food marketers, and consumers to respond to the prevailing busyness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103754
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Early online date18 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2024


  • Busyness
  • Food responses
  • Information processing style
  • Sense of power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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