The Effect of Decision Makers’ Time Perspective on Intention-Behavior Consistency

Marketing Letters, 23 (1), 263-277, 2012

15 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2012

Date Written: September 6, 2012


This research demonstrates that decision makers’ time perspective — a cognitive, temporal bias that leads people to overemphasize the past, present, or future in their decision making — systematically influences self-reported behavioral intentions and thus intention-behavior consistency for distant-future behaviors. Whereas present-hedonistic individuals overstate their intentions, present-fatalistic individuals understate theirs, so both types exhibit low intention-behavior consistency. Future time-oriented individuals instead exhibit high intention-behavior consistency because they are less likely to overstate their intentions. The findings are contributed to decision makers’ time perspective influencing the construal of distant future behavior when reporting behavioral intentions. Accounting for decision makers’ time perspectives helps improve predictive accuracy and may change insights obtained from causal models that use self-reported intentions as a proxy for actual, distant-future behavior.

Keywords: Distant-future intentions, Intention-behavior consistency, Time perspective, Temporal construal theory

JEL Classification: C00, D00, M00, M31

Suggested Citation

van Ittersum, Koert, The Effect of Decision Makers’ Time Perspective on Intention-Behavior Consistency (September 6, 2012). Marketing Letters, 23 (1), 263-277, 2012. Available at SSRN:

Koert Van Ittersum (Contact Author)

University of Groningen ( email )

Postbus 72
9700 AB Groningen

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