Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1292547
 
 

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Do You Look to the Future or Focus on Today? The Impact of Life Experience on Intertemporal Decisions


Jennifer Aaker


Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Wendy Liu


University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

March 1, 2007


Abstract:     
In this research, we investigate the impact of significant life experiences on intertemporal decisions among young adults. A series of experiments focus specifically on the impact of experiencing the death of a close other by cancer. We show that such an experience, which bears information about time, is associated with making decisions that favor the long-term future over short-term interests (Studies 1 and 2). Underlying this effect appears to be increased salience and concreteness regarding one's future life course, shifting focus away from the present toward the long run (Studies 3 and 4). Finally, we explore the shift caused by a cancer death of a public figure and examine its stability over time (Study 5). Implications for research on intertemporal decision making and the impact of life events on perceptions and preferences are discussed.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

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Date posted: November 1, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Aaker, Jennifer and Liu, Wendy, Do You Look to the Future or Focus on Today? The Impact of Life Experience on Intertemporal Decisions (March 1, 2007). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1292547 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1292547

Contact Information

Jennifer Lynn Aaker (Contact Author)
Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )
518 Memorial Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Wendy Liu
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )
9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States
HOME PAGE: http://management.ucsd.edu/faculty/directory/wendy-liu/
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