Pressed for Time? Goal Conflict Shapes How Time is Perceived, Spent, and Valued

47 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2014  

Jordan Etkin

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Ioannis Evangelidis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Jennifer Aaker

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Date Written: October 30, 2014

Abstract

Consumers often feel pressed for time, but why? This research provides a novel answer to this question: subjective perceptions of goal conflict. We show that beyond the number of goals competing for their time, perceived conflict between goals makes consumers feel that they have less time. Five experiments demonstrate that perceiving greater conflict between goals makes people feel time constrained, driven by increased stress and anxiety. These effects, which generalize across a variety of goals and types of conflict both related and unrelated to demands on time, impact how consumers spend time as well as how much they are willing to pay to save time. We identify two simple interventions that can help consumers mitigate goal conflict’s negative effects: slow breathing and anxiety reappraisal. Together our findings shed light on what drives how consumers see, spend, and value their time.

Keywords: time perceptions, goals, stress, impatience

Suggested Citation

Etkin, Jordan and Evangelidis, Ioannis and Aaker, Jennifer, Pressed for Time? Goal Conflict Shapes How Time is Perceived, Spent, and Valued (October 30, 2014). Forthcoming at Journal of Marketing Research; Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 14-45. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2516760 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2516760

Jordan Etkin (Contact Author)

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

Ioannis Evangelidis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

Rotterdam
Netherlands

Jennifer Lynn Aaker

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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