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http://ssrn.com/abstract=576363
 
 

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Consuming Now or Later? The Interactive Effect of Timing and Attribute Alignability


Selin A. Malkoc


Washington University in Saint Louis - Olin Business School

Gal Zauberman


University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Canan Ulu


Duke University - Fuqua School of Business


Psychological Science, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Decisions are often temporally separated from their outcomes. Using theories of structural alignment and temporal construal, we examined how temporal distance and the associated shift in decision processes moderate susceptibility to context effects. Specifically, in two experiments (one hypothetical, one with real outcomes) we demonstrated that people attend relatively more to non-alignable differences when the outcome of the decision is in the distant compared to the near future. We show this shift in decision processes by using preference and choice data as well as coded written protocols. We further show that this temporal shift cannot be explained by differential involvement with the decision or by the feasibility/desirability of the attributes. Our findings establish temporal distance as an important moderator of structural alignment effects, as well as extending the implications of temporal construal theory beyond the characteristics of the attributes to the structural relationships among attributes.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: Intertemporal Choice, Temporal Construal, Alignability

JEL Classification: D90, M0, M30

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Date posted: August 16, 2004 ; Last revised: October 21, 2012

Suggested Citation

Malkoc, Selin A. and Zauberman, Gal and Ulu, Canan, Consuming Now or Later? The Interactive Effect of Timing and Attribute Alignability. Psychological Science, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=576363 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.576363

Contact Information

Selin A. Malkoc (Contact Author)
Washington University in Saint Louis - Olin Business School ( email )
One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States
314-935-4846 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://apps.olin.wustl.edu/faculty/malkoc/
Gal Zauberman
University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )
700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States

Canan Ulu
Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )
Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
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