Immediacy Bias in Consumer Attitudes and Choices Over Time

Katherine White, University of Calgary, Canada
Leaf Van Boven, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
Many consumer decisions involve comparing alternatives that occur at different points in time. The current research examines the role of the immediacy bias—the tendency judge immediate emotions as more intense than distant emotions, all else equal—in consumer attitudes and choice. We demonstrate that alternatives (i.e., advertisements and movie clips) that arouse immediate pleasure are evaluated more positively than alternatives that arouse distant pleasure (studies 1 and 2). Consumers were also more likely to choose alternatives that aroused immediate rather than distant pleasure, a pattern that increased “mischoice” (study 2). These findings have both consumer welfare and managerial implications.
[ to cite ]:
Katherine White and Leaf Van Boven (2007) ,"Immediacy Bias in Consumer Attitudes and Choices Over Time", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 344-346.