'Imagination visual mental imagery,' a mental simulation process that involves imagining an end-user interacting with an end product, has been proposed as an efficient strategy to incorporate end-user experiences during new product ideation. Although consumer research finds that such mental imagery process enhances overall product usefulness, extant research does not resolve whether and how this process may impact outcome originality. The present research delineates the construct of 'imagination visual mental imagery' and argues that such mental imagery can take two different routes – one that is more feelings-based, and the other that is more objective. Further, it is argued that these two approaches, although equally benefit outcome usefulness, differentially impact outcome originality. A set of five studies, collectively, demonstrates that adopting a feelings-imagination approach induces higher empathic concern thereby enhancing cognitive flexibility, which in turn leads to higher outcome originality.
About the Speaker:
Ravi Mehta is Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Illinois, College of Business. He joined the faculty at Illinois in 2011. Professor Mehta received his Ph.D. in marketing from the University of British Columbia, BC, Canada, in 2011. He also holds MBA degree from York University, Toronto, Canada and an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Delhi College of Engineering, Delhi, India. His research interests are in the area of consumer behavior and consumer psychology. His agenda covers two main areas of research. First stream of research examines consumer creativity and innovative thinking, while second focuses on understanding self control behaviors. His work has been published in top-tier academic journals - Science and Journal of Consumer Research. Ravi teaches courses on new product development and new product marketing to MBAs and undergraduates (both business and technology majors). Ravi also has a strong industry experience. Prior to joining academics he worked in various managerial positions at ITW Signode, United Technologies (Otis Elevators) and GE (Medical Business) for over a decade