Contrasting Against the Future: the Unexpected Effects of Expectation

Tom Meyvis, New York University
Leif Nelson, New York University
Previous research has documented that, although consumers expect to enjoy an experience more (less) when it follows an inferior (superior) prior experience, such hedonic contrast against prior experiences actually rarely occurs. In the current research, we study how consumers’ enjoyment of their current experience is influenced by anticipated experiences rather than by preceeding experiences. Interestingly, an exactly opposite pattern emerges. Although consumers do not believe that they will contrast against future experiences, our studies show that positive experiences become more positive when a negative change is expected and negative experiences become more negative when a positive change is expected.
[ to cite ]:
Tom Meyvis and Leif Nelson (2007) ,"Contrasting Against the Future: the Unexpected Effects of Expectation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 545-550.