Affective Boundaries of Scope Insensitivity

Journal of Consumer Research, Forthcoming

Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 18-33

65 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2018

See all articles by Hannah Chang

Hannah Chang

Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business

Michel Tuan Pham

Columbia University - Columbia Business School; Columbia Business School - Marketing

Date Written: March 3, 2018

Abstract

People can be surprisingly insensitive to quantities in valuation judgments — a phenomenon called scope insensitivity that is generally attributed to the operation of affective processes in judgment. Building on research showing that affect is inherently a decision-making system of the present, we propose that scope insensitivity is more likely to be observed in decisions that are psychologically proximate to the immediate self. Consistent with this proposition, results from seven experiments (and two replications) show that scope insensitivity is more prevalent in decisions that are temporally proximate, both prospectively (near future vs. distant future) and retrospectively (recent past vs. distant past), and in decisions that are psychologically proximate in terms of social or physical distance. In addition to clarifying the boundaries of the scope-insensitivity phenomenon, these findings help refine our understanding of the affective system of judgment. Specifically, the findings suggest that the affective system of judgment and decision making is not just a system of the present, it is more generally a system of the immediate self. Any form of distance from the immediate self (in time, social relation, or physical space) tends to attenuate the engagement of the overall affective system.

Keywords: affect, emotion, scope insensitivity, judgment, decision making, self, psychological proximity

JEL Classification: D03, d91, m31

Suggested Citation

Chang, Hannah and Pham, Michel Tuan, Affective Boundaries of Scope Insensitivity (March 3, 2018). Journal of Consumer Research, Forthcoming ; Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 18-33. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3133814 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3133814

Hannah Chang

Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business ( email )

469 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 912409
Singapore

Michel Tuan Pham (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Columbia Business School ( email )

3022 Broadway
515 Uris
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-3472 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.columbia.edu/~tdp4/

Columbia Business School - Marketing ( email )

3022 Broadway
515 Uris
New York, NY NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.columbia.edu/~tdp4/

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
43
Abstract Views
354
PlumX Metrics