Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=946188
 
 

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Learning from Mixed Feedback: Anticipation of the Future Reduces Appreciation of the Present


Tom Meyvis


New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing

Alan D.J. Cooke


University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration


Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2007

Abstract:     
Consumers can learn from their past decisions and prepare for future decisions by comparing their obtained outcome to other possible outcomes. In this paper, we examine whether this comparative feedback is processed differently by those who try to learn from it to prepare for future decisions than by those who don't expect similar decisions in the future. Using a store price comparison context, we demonstrate that the expectation of similar future choices increases consumers' sensitivity to comparisons with better alternatives, resulting in an overly negative perception of their chosen option. We observe that this effect is not driven by changes in anticipated regret, involvement, counterfactual generation, or biased retrieval. However, the effect does depend on consumers' prior beliefs about the relative attractiveness of the options. We conclude that consumers who anticipate future choices selectively test the hypothesis that their current choice can be improved upon. As a result, these forward-looking consumers pay relatively more attention to unfavorable comparisons and fail to appreciate the value of their current choice.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 12

JEL Classification: M31, D83, D91

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Date posted: November 21, 2006 ; Last revised: May 4, 2008

Suggested Citation

Meyvis, Tom and Cooke, Alan D.J., Learning from Mixed Feedback: Anticipation of the Future Reduces Appreciation of the Present. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=946188

Contact Information

Tom Meyvis (Contact Author)
New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing ( email )
Henry Kaufman Ctr
44 W 4 St.
New York, NY
United States
Alan D.J. Cooke
University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration ( email )
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States
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