Time Will Tell

Time Will Tell

By
Cassie Mogilner, Jennifer Aaker, Ginger L. Pennington
Journal of Consumer Research.
2008, Vol. 34, Issue 5, Pages 670-681

What types of products are preferred when the purchase is immediate versus off in the distant future? Three experiments address this question by examining the influence of temporal perspective on evaluations of regulatory-framed products. The results reveal that when a purchase is about to be made, consumers prefer prevention- (vs. promotion-) framed products - an effect that is driven by the pain anticipated from potentially failing one’s looming purchasing goal. When a purchase is temporally distant, however, promotion- (vs. prevention-) framed products become more appealing - an effect that is driven by the anticipated pleasure from achieving one’s distant purchasing goal. Implications for the psychology of self-regulation, anticipated affect, and will-power are discussed.