Beyond moving on : the perceptual and cognitive impacts of psychological closure
Psychological closure is the feeling that a life experience is complete and a part of the past (Beike, Adams, and Wirth-Beaumont 2007). While research on psychological closure primarily deals with traumatic or highly aversive life experiences, psychological closure is frequently experienced and sought after in more typical consumption settings. My dissertation extends our current knowledge about the role of psychological closure by exploring emotional, cognitive, perceptual, and behavioral implications of psychological closure across a broad range of consumer experiences. The first essay aims to demonstrate that closure makes events seem distant in time and probability through emotion. It also explores resulting consumer decisions such as warranty purchase intentions. The second essay proposes and tests how psychological closure of a consumer learning experience can lead to an abstract representation of that learning experience, and consequently a heightened sense of subjective knowledge.