Mental Simulation and Preference Consistency Over Time: The Role of Process-Versus Outcome-Focused Thoughts
Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. XLIV, pp. 379-388, August 2007
10 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2010
Date Written: August 30, 2007
Research on choice over time has found that people tend to focus on concrete aspects of near-future events and abstract aspects of distantfuture events. Furthermore, a focus on concrete aspects heightens the feasibility-related components, whereas a focus on abstract aspects heightens the desirability-related components, which can lead to preference inconsistency over time. In this research, the authors integrate research on choice over time with mental simulation. They propose and show that counter to people’s natural tendencies, outcome simulation for near-future events and process simulation for distant-future events lead to preference consistency over time. The results also suggest that outcome timing moderates the effectiveness of process versus outcome simulation.
Keywords: preference over time, mental simulation, construal level, time
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation