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EMAC 2023 Annual

The Impact of Environmental Context on Mobile Consumer Investment Decisions

Published: May 24, 2023


Pauline Engel, LMU Munich School of Management; Chen Pundak, NYU; Martin Spann, LMU Munich School of Managment; Peter Pal Zubcsek, Tel Aviv University


The proliferation of trading via neo-brokers raises new challenges for understanding consumer decision-making. In this paper, we examine the influence of environmental context on mobile investment decisions. We use an online experiment to manipulate the level of two contextual factors, crowdedness and weather, and have participants choose between a low-risk and a high-risk fund. We find that the level of crowdedness influences investment choice through emotions experienced and regulatory focus. A higher level of crowdedness reduces the feeling of dominance and increases prevention focus, and a higher prevention focus leads to a greater preference for low-risk investments. In addition, we find that this effect is moderated by the weather condition, whereby bad weather weakens the effect of high crowdedness. Our results contribute to the literature on retail investment and mobile consumer behavior by highlighting the influence of the decision environment on retail investment decisions.