Time and Decisions: Attention Based Perspective on Temporal Effects in Judgment and Choice

Session Chair: Selin Malkoc, The University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill
Discussion Leader: Drazen Prelec, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Time and Decisions: Attention Based Perspective on Temporal Effects in Judgment and Choice


1. Tradeoff Conflict: The Effect of Inconsequential Common Rewards on Intertemporal and Risky Choice

Oleg Urminsky (Columbia University) and Ran Kivetz (Columbia University)


This paper demonstrates that adding an immediate common reward to intertemporal choices between sooner-smaller and later-larger rewards systematically increases the preference for the later-larger rewards, which violates the monotonicity assumption of extant discounting models.  We argue that the common reward reduces intrapersonal conflict, allowing for realization of both magnitude and immediacy objectives.  A series of studies replicates the effect across a range magnitudes and delays of reward, rules out alternative explanations, replicates the effect of adding a common reward while holding constant the overall net present value of the offered rewards, and extends the findings from intertemporal to risky choice.



2. Time Insensitivity: The Impact of Time Pressure and Attention on Discounting of Near and Far Future

Jane E. J. Ebert (University of Minnesota) and Drazen Prelec (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)


We propose that the temporal dimension is preferentially fragile, such that valuations are insufficiently sensitive to temporal variation, and such sensitivity as exists is exceptionally malleable. In four experiments we show that subjects’ sensitivity to time can be easily compromised (Studies1 and 2) or enhanced (Studies 3a and 3b) such that subjects who are more sensitive to time show relatively less discounting of the near future and more discounting of the far future. Notably, the same sensitivity enhancement manipulations on another dimension (money) show little effect, suggesting that, unlike the temporal dimension, the money dimension is naturally carefully attended.



3. Time Horizon Neglect: Prospective Duration Insensitivity in Consumer Preference

Gal Zauberman (The University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill), James R. Bettman (Duke University) and Selin A. Malkoc (The University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill)


Consumers often make decisions about events that occur over time. Building upon the ideas from philosophy of time, we argue that consumers are not sensitive to the duration over which events take place. That is, consumers display time horizon neglect. Three experiments test this idea in two important consumption contexts: choice of retailers with different costs over time and decisions about consumption timing. We show that participants do not incorporate duration into their decisions unless this dimension is made accessible: When duration is primed, preferences were less similar between short and long time horizons (experiment 2), and hyperbolic discounting was reduced (experiment 3).
[ to cite ]:
Session Chair: Selin Malkoc and Discussion Leader: Drazen Prelec (2006) ,"Time and Decisions: Attention Based Perspective on Temporal Effects in Judgment and Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 688-692.