Differential Reliance on Feelings in the Present Vs. the Future (Or Past): Affect As a Decision Making System of the Present

Hannah Chang, Singapore Management University, Singapore
Michel Tuan Pham, Columbia University, USA
We posit that, holding their accessibility constant, affective feelings are weighted more heavily in consumer decisions set in the present than in equivalent decisions set at a more distant time (past or future). Results from four experiments show that (a) a nearer future increases consumers’ relative preferences for affectively-superior options than cognitively-superior options, (b) a nearer future also increases the influence of incidental moods on consumers’ evaluations; (c) consumers find the reliance on feelings more “natural” in decisions set in a nearer future; and (d) a more recent past increases the influence of incidental moods on consumers’ evaluations and willingness-to-pay.
[ to cite ]:
Hannah Chang and Michel Tuan Pham (2010) ,"Differential Reliance on Feelings in the Present Vs. the Future (Or Past): Affect As a Decision Making System of the Present", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 554-555 .