The Effect of Unpacking and Valence on Future Time Estimates

Claire Tsai, University of Toronto, Canada
Min Zhao, University of Toronto, Canada
Jing Wan, University of Toronto, Canada
Prior research on support theory has shown that unpacking events leads to subadditivity of subjective probability judgments. The present research extends these findings to time estimates. We propose that the time estimate for a target event is systematically influenced by its representation (i.e., presenting a single event versus many sub-events) and its valence. Specifically, unpacking pleasant events leads to higher overall time estimates, corroborating findings in support theory. However, unpacking unpleasant events reverses this effect. Further, we demonstrate that perceived enjoyment (or pain) of an event mediates this pattern of results.
[ to cite ]:
Claire Tsai, Min Zhao, and Jing Wan (2010) ,"The Effect of Unpacking and Valence on Future Time Estimates", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 219-222 .