Anticipating the Future: the Role of Consumption Visions in Consumer Behavior

ABSTRACT - People can imagine themselves performing a variety of different behaviors (Rook 1988). One broad category of behaviors concerns those related to consuming products. "Consumption visions" are self-constructed mental simulations of future consumption situations. Consumers can imagine themselves, for example, carrying a new briefcase to work or driving a new car around town. Because consumption visions depict the self enacting detailed product-related behaviors, consumption visions may be particularly motivating. Specifically, consumption visions may help to motivate consumers to enact those behaviors they imagine in the consumption vision. This paper examines the antecedents and consequences of consumption visions as well as the extent to which consumption visions may mediate the effects of advertising variables on consumer behavior.
[ to cite ]:
(1996) ,"Anticipating the Future: the Role of Consumption Visions in Consumer Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 23, eds. Kim P. Corfman and John G. Lynch Jr., Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 70-75.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 23, 1996     Pages 70-75

ANTICIPATING THE FUTURE: THE ROLE OF CONSUMPTION VISIONS IN CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

Diane M. Phillips, Pennsylvania State University

ABSTRACT -

People can imagine themselves performing a variety of different behaviors (Rook 1988). One broad category of behaviors concerns those related to consuming products. "Consumption visions" are self-constructed mental simulations of future consumption situations. Consumers can imagine themselves, for example, carrying a new briefcase to work or driving a new car around town. Because consumption visions depict the self enacting detailed product-related behaviors, consumption visions may be particularly motivating. Specifically, consumption visions may help to motivate consumers to enact those behaviors they imagine in the consumption vision. This paper examines the antecedents and consequences of consumption visions as well as the extent to which consumption visions may mediate the effects of advertising variables on consumer behavior.

WHAT ARE CONSUMPTION VISIONS?

When consumers construct consumption visions, they imagine themselves playing the major role in a tentative future consumption situation. A consumption vision consists of a series of vivid mental images of product-related behaviors and their consequences, which allows consumers to more accurately anticipate actual consequences of product use (Walker and Olson 1994; Phillips, Olson and Baumgartner 1995). Consumption visions are not merely self-relevant images of the future, they are visions of the self behaving within an imagined scenario and experiencing the outcomes of those behaviors. Consider the individual who is contemplating the purchase of a new car. This individual may imagine driving to work, washing and waxing the new car, and showing it off to friends. For this consumer, each of these images of the self consuming the product are components of the consumption vision.

Constructing consumption visions may have certain decision-making and behavioral implications. By envisioning oneself performing a particular behavior and picturing the various steps involved in the consumption of a product C by "tasting" it, by "feeling" it C the consumer may better predict the consequences of actual consumption of the product. In this way, consumption visions make the imagined scenario more "tangible" and can help the consumer make better, more informed decisions. Specifically, consumption visions may make it easier for consumers who engage in imagined consumption to anticipate that actual consumption will occur. This is because when people imagine a future scenario, they are more likely to predict that the scenario will actually occur (Carroll 1978, Anderson 1983, Shedler and Manis 1986). Envisioning oneself as the main character in a future behavioral scenario may have particularly strong behavioral implications. Indeed, when the self is the main character in an imagined scenario, behavioral intentions (Anderson 1983, Sherman and Anderson 1987, McGill and Anand 1989) and enactment of the imagined behaviors (Gregory, Cialdini and Carpenter 1982, Markus and Nurius 1986, Sherman and Anderson 1987, Markus and Ruvolo 1989, Cross and Markus 1990) are increased. One explanation for this influence of self-as-main-character visions of the future on decision-making and behavior is that these visions act as self-relevant goals that need to be attained (Markus and Nurius 1986, Emmons 1986, Emmons and King 1988, Markus and Ruvolo 1989, Cross and Markus 1990). Thus, consumption visions may energize consumers to work to engage in actual consumption of the product.

The phenomenon of imagining the future should be of particular interest to consumer researchers (Bettman 1993, Walker and Olson 1994, Phillips, et al. 1995). Consumers who construct consumption visions may become more committed to achieving actual consumption and may thus demonstrate predictable increases in traditional marketing-related variables such as attitudes and intentions. Further, consumption vision construction may be facilitated in an advertising context by including certain advertising variables within the ad itself. As such, the focus of this study will be an investigation of advertising variables that may be manipulated to facilitate consumption vision construction, the marketing-related consequences of construction, and the extent to which a consumption vision acts as a mediator between these antecedents and consequences.

THE ROLE OF CONSUMPTION VISIONS

Antecedents of Consumption Visions

Three advertising variables are expected to influence the construction of a consumption vision (Lutz and Lutz 1978): an explicit invitation to construct the consumption vision, the degree of verbal detail in the ad, and the degree of visual detail in the ad.

Invitation to Create a Consumption Vision. One way to get consumers to form consumption visions is to simply ask them to do so. An invitation could be viewed as an explicit instruction to imagine the self doing something. One invitation could be, "imagine yourself behind the wheel of a Lexus." Such an invitation to imagine the self engaging in a specific consumption situation should greatly facilitate consumption vision construction. This is supported by one study which found a positive impact on product judgments for only those subjects who were given instructions to use "the power of your imagination to envision" the product (McGill and Anand 1989). Indeed, compared to subjects who were not given such explicit instructions, subjects who did receive these instructions imagined more complex "consumption visions" and more detailed product attributes (McGill and Anand 1989). This suggests that when advertising copy explicitly invites consumers to imagine themselves performing a variety of product-related behaviors within a consumption vision, consumers may be more likely to construct consumption visions. Based upon this conjecture, the following hypothesis was generated.

H1: An explicit invitation in an ad to imagine the self in a future consumption situation will positively influence the extent to which a consumption vision is constructed.

The direct approach to facilitating consumption vision construction may be an invitation. There may also be indirect ways to facilitate consumption vision construction: verbal detail and visual detail in the advertisement itself.

Degree of Verbal Detail. One indirect way to encourage consumers to form consumption visions would be to include detailed verbal descriptions of what to expect during actual consumption of the product. Indeed, detailed verbal descriptions facilitate the extent to which individuals construct future scenarios (Carroll 1978). One study had subjects read a two-page, single-spaced account of a future scenario (Gregory, et al. 1982) while another encouraged subjects to close their eyes and imagine for 2-3 minutes the different steps involved in successfully completing the imagined task within the scenario (Sherman and Anderson 1987). One underlying mechanism by which concrete and detailed messages exert their influence is purported to be the greater imagability of detailed messages. That is, descriptions that use concrete language and specific details are easier to imagine and elaborate (Taylor and Thompson 1982, McGill and Anand 1989). Another explanation is that verbal detail in the message could trigger greater comprehension of the ad via the increased ability to make personal, self-relevant embellishments of the message or product (Mick 1992). Construction of detailed consumption visions should thus be facilitated by fairly detailed verbal descriptions of the consumption experience. Thus, in order to induce consumption vision construction, print ads must use a high degree of verbal detail. In that regard,

H2: Detailed verbal descriptions will positively influence the extent to which a consumption vision is constructed.

Degree of Visual Detail. Another indirect means by which consumption vision construction can be facilitated in an advertising context is with a pictorial depiction of the consumption experience. A detailed visual representation, or a product-relevant picture, in the advertisement should help consumers anticipate what actual consumption may be like (Mitchell and Olson 1981, Miniard, Bhatla, Lord, Dickson, and Unnava 1991). Just as a detailed verbal description of the consumption situation should facilitate the extent to which a detailed consumption vision is created, a visual representation of the situation should also help consumers imagine or picture themselves acting within the consumption context. Consumption visions are expected to consist of two principal components: the self and the consumption situation. If the situation is presented visually in the advertisement, one half of the foundation for the consumption vision is established. All the individual must do is imagine himself or herself in that situation. Depending on a consumer's ability or preference, a consumer may differentially process the visual and verbal components in an advertisement (Childers, Houston, and Heckler 1985). Previous research also suggests that the addition of a picture in an advertisement may help individuals learn about the product itself (Mitchell 1986) as well as see connections between the product and the self (Debevec and Romeo 1992). As such,

H3: Advertisements that are high in visual detail will positively influence the extent to which a consumption vision is constructed.

In summary, it is expected that three factors will positively influence the extent to which consumers construct a consumption vision: an explicit invitation to create a consumption vision, the degree of verbal detail in the ad, and the degree of visual detail in the ad. What are the likely consequences of consumption vision construction?

Consequences of Consumption Visions

As a consequence of constructing consumption visions, consumers may be more likely to have more positive attitudes toward the particular advertisement, more positive attitudes toward enacting the target behavior, and higher behavioral intentions.

Attitude Toward the Ad. Partial support for the importance of consumption vision construction on attitudes and intentions is provided in one study where it was found that verbal and visual advertising elements both independently influenced attitude toward the ad (Aad) and product beliefs which in turn influenced attitude toward the brand (Mitchell 1986). This study also found that positively valenced pictures had a positive impact on Aad (Mitchell 1986). Although Mitchell (1986) doesn't explicitly discuss how mental imagery impacts the extent to which these effects (Aad and Abrand) occur, the present study specifies the underlying process as a consequence of consumption vision construction. In a related vein, ads that evoke autobiographical memories enhance ad evaluations (Sujan, Bettman, and Baumgartner 1993). Although consumption visions are mental images of the future, not the past, it is likely that consumption vision construction may also lead to more positive ad evaluations. Accordingly,

H4: The extent to which consumption visions are constructed will positively influence attitude toward the advertisement.

Attitude Toward the Act and Behavioral Intentions. If the consumption vision is positive, it is likely that the consumer will develop more positive attitudes toward enacting the behavior (Aact) and intentions toward engaging in that behavior (BI). Detailed consumption visions should make the product seem "closer" to the individual. By vicariously experiencing an interaction with a particular product, the consumer may be more certain about the probable outcomes of product use. Indeed, it has been found that when individuals self-reference (Debevec and Romeo 1992) or create self-as-main-character visions (Anderson 1983), they are more likely to have positive attitudes and intentions. Further, individuals believe they are more likely to perform a behavior after they have imagined performing that behavior (Carroll 1978, Anderson 1983). Finally, individuals will be more motivated to enact goal-directed behaviors after they have imagined a possible future (Markus and Nurius 1986, Markus and Ruvolo 1989, Cross and Markus 1990). Accordingly,

H5: The extent to which consumption visions are constructed will positively influence attitudes toward enacting product related behaviors.

H6: The extent to which consumption visions are constructed will positively influence behavioral intentions.

The hypotheses mentioned above were empirically examined and the results of these tests are described in the next section.

METHOD

Subjects

One hundred and twenty nine students from a large university participated in this study in partial fulfillment of a course requirement. Five subjects were deleted because of incomplete data, leaving 124 (76 men and 48 women) usable responses.

Experimental Stimuli and Manipulations

A 2 (invitation vs. no invitation) X 2 (verbal detail vs. no verbal detail) X 2 (visual detail vs. no visual detail) between-subjects design was used to test the hypotheses. Subjects looked at print ads which encouraged them to form consumption visions about taking a tropical vacation to Aruba. This consumption vision was chosen for several reasons. First, it was unlikely that many subjects had experience with taking a trip to Aruba and would therefore be unlikely to have pre-existing consumption visions about Aruba. Second, a consumption vision was chosen that might be somewhat difficult for some individuals to construct. Since a vacation to Aruba is very costly, it was believed that very few college students would spontaneously construct this consumption vision. In order to be more credible and realistic, all ads started with "Aruba..." and concluded with the statement, "Call your travel agent today."

Invitation to Create A Consumption Vision. In the invitation conditions, the advertising copy explicitly invited readers to construct a consumption vision by using statements such as "take a moment and imagine yourself..." and "picture yourself..." throughout the ad. In the no invitation condition, no such invitations were used.

Degree of Verbal Detail. Verbal detail was manipulated by the use of concrete, detailed verbal embellishments of the attributes of Aruba (e.g., "pristine beaches that sparkle and shine" and "gentle breezes that caress and embrace," etc.). Thus, in the verbal detail conditions, the advertising copy used concrete, detailed language describing the benefits of each attribute. Conversely, the copy in the no verbal detail conditions simply listed the attributes of Aruba with no verbal embellishments (e.g., "...turquoise waters, pristine beaches, warm sunshine, gentle breezes and relaxing atmosphere").

Degree of Visual Detail. The visual detail component of consumption vision construction was operationalized by including a color picture for visual detail conditions and no picture for the no visual detail conditions. The color picture was a visual depiction of many of the attributes mentioned in the advertising copy. It consisted of a bright, sunny beach scene with turquoise water, white sand, palm trees, etc.

Procedure and Dependent Measures

Upon entering the room, subjects were greeted and given some general instructions about the study. Then, subjects were asked to examine the magazine advertisement as if they were considering taking a trip to Aruba after graduation. After the time was up (90 seconds), subjects were instructed to complete the questionnaire and then wait quietly for further instructions. The first item in the questionnaire was an open-ended thought listing that asked subjects to describe what they thought about while they examined the ad. [A content analysis of the thought listings was performed. The written thought listings were coded by two coders who were blind to the experimental condition of each subject. A thought was considered a consumption vision if it mentioned the self engaging in a specific consumption situation. The total number of distinct thoughts, or "snapshots," was noted. Inter-coder reliability was 74% and disagreements were resolved by discussion. As a measure of the extent to which subjects formed consumption visions, this measure did not produce any significant results. This may be due to the fact that although some subjects may have formed consumption visions, they may not have written down statements that were considered by the coders to be consumption vision "thoughts." For example, subjects may have written, "white, sandy beaches" but may have also imagined themselves walking along those beaches; it was impossible to tell. A better measure would have been to interview each subject to determine what specifically they may have imagined while viewing the ad.] All subsequent items on the questionnaire were forced choice scales.

Consumption Vision Scale (CVS). The extent to which subjects constructed consumption visions was assessed via the CVS. The CVS consisted of four bi-polar scales developed to capture self-reports of consumption vision construction. The first two questions were designed to check the extent to which subjects imagined, visualized, or pictured a detailed consumption experience, "How much did the advertisement bring to mind concrete images or mental pictures?" and "When thinking about the trip to Aruba, how vivid or detailed was the image that came to your mind?" The endpoints were: very much-not at all and very vivid-not at all vivid, respectively. The last two questions were designed to assess the extent to which subjects could see themselves as the main character in the consumption vision, "When thinking about the trip to Aruba, how easy was it to see yourself taking such a trip?" and "While reading the advertisement for Aruba, to what extent were you able to 'transport' yourself into the ad?" The endpoints were labeled: very easy-not at all easy and very much-not at all, respectively. Results of a factor analysis suggest that one underlying factor can account for 77% of the variance in the responses. Because of this, the results of these four scales were combined to form one CVS rating (Cronbach alpha=0.90).

Attitude Toward the Act. This question asked subjects to complete a 9-point, four-item scale that described their "feelings toward taking a trip to Aruba" with endpoints labeled unpleasant-pleasant, favorable-unfavorable, good-bad, and negative-positive. These ratings were summed to create an overall Aact measure (Cronbach alpha=0.96).

Attitude Toward the Ad. Next, "feelings toward the advertisement for Aruba" were assessed using the same 9-point, four-item scale. These ratings were summed to create an overall Aad measure (Cronbach alpha=0.97).

Behavioral Intentions. Subjects then completed six, 9-point scales to assess their intentions toward taking a trip to Aruba after graduation. Each scale started with "After graduation..." and ended with a statement such as: "...I intend to take a trip to Aruba" or "...I plan to take a trip to Aruba." The end points for all six scales were labeled: definitely yes-definitely no. These ratings were summed to create an overall BI measure (Cronbach alpha=0.96).

RESULTS

Several subjects created very detailed consumption visions about taking a tropical vacation to Aruba. Examples of different consumption visions are as follows:

I pictured myself relaxing in a comfortable atmosphere. Maybe catching a tan. Swimming in unpolluted water. Trying out a jet ski. I pictured how beautiful and romantic the island appeared. I pictured perfect weather and a great time.

I was wishing that I was there. Picturing myself swimming in clear water with palm trees blowing in the wind. Then I pictured myself lying on the beach with a pina colada in one hand and my boyfriend lying next to me underneath a palm tree.

I immediately pictured the beach and could feel myself lying in the sun. I didn't picture myself meeting anyone though. I was just relaxing by myself, getting away from everything.

The first phase of the data analysis was conducted to examine the antecedents of consumption vision construction. The independent variables were invitation, verbal detail, and visual detail while the dependent variable was the extent to which people formed consumption visions. The second phase of the data analysis attempted to examine the consequences of consumption vision construction. Using the same three independent variables, the dependent variables were Aad, Aact and BI.

Antecedents of Consumption Visions

CVS. The CVS was used to assess the extent to which individuals constructed consumption visions. [One concern about encouraging the construction of a consumption vision about Aruba was that some students may have had direct experience with taking trips to tropical islands. It was reasonable to assume that students who had taken trips to tropical islands in the past may have had an easier time creating a consumption vision about Aruba. Although 50.8% of the subjects reported that they had taken a vacation trip "like the one described in the ad," this concern was dispelled after an examination of correlations between these previous vacation trips and the creation of detailed consumption visions (r=0.04), Aact (r=0.10, and BI (r=0.11).] Overall, individuals report higher CVS ratings with ads using verbal detail (mean rating=6.25, on a 7-point scale) than ads with no verbal detail (mean rating=5.40). This trend was supported by an ANOVA which produced a significant overall model (F(7,116)=2.45, p<0.05) and a main effect of verbal detail (F(1,116)=5.44, p<0.05).

Hypothesis 2 is thus supported. In addition, individuals report higher CVS ratings for ads with a picture (mean rating=6.35) than with no picture (mean rating=5.34). The ANOVA also produced a main effect of visual detail (F(1,116)=8.10, p<0.01). Hypothesis 3 is also supported. The analysis produced no significant effects for invitation or for any interactions. Thus, the extent to which individuals construct consumption visions is facilitated by a detailed verbal description and a detailed visual representation.

Consequences of Consumption Visions

Hypothesis 4 predicted that Aad would be positively associated with the extent to which people constructed consumption visions. This hypothesis was supported with a significant correlation between Aad and CVS (r=0.70, p<0.0001). Hypothesis 5 predicted that Aact would be positively associated with the extent to which people constructed consumption visions. Again, this prediction was supported by a significant correlation between Aact and CVS (r=0.61, p<0.0001). Similarly, hypothesis 6 predicted that BI would be positively associated with the extent to which people constructed consumption visions. Once again, this prediction is supported by a significant correlation between BI and CVS (r=0.46, p<0.0001).

A series of three ANOVAs was then conducted on the overall model relating invitation, verbal detail and visual detail to Aad, Aact and BI. With Aad as the dependent variable, the previous relationships were supported with a significant overall model (F(7,115)=4.25, p<0.0005) and significant effects for verbal detail (F(1,115)=4.53, p<0.05) and visual detail (F(1,115)=24.14, p<0.0001). No significant effects were found for invitation. For Aact, the analysis revealed a marginally significant overall ANOVA model (F(7, 116)=1.94, p<0.10) and a significant effect for visual detail (F(1,116)=10.16, p<0.002). This analysis did not produce any significant effects for verbal detail or invitation. Finally, for BI, the overall ANOVA model did not reach significance, but visual detail again exerted a significant influence on BI (F(1,116)=5.48, p<0.05). Once again, this analysis did not produce any significant effects for verbal detail or invitation.

Mediational Analysis

The final analysis examined the extent to which consumption visions mediated the influence of the three advertising variables on the consequences of consumption vision construction (Baron and Kenny 1986). When conducting the three step test of mediation as proposed by Baron and Kenny (1986), first regress the mediator on the independent variables, then regress the dependent variable on the independent variables, and finally, regress the dependent variable on both the mediator and the independent variables. For mediation to be present, the independent variables must significantly influence the mediator, the dependent variable must be significantly influenced by the independent variables, and the significant effects of the independent variables on the dependent variable must be significantly reduced when the mediator is introduced in the last step. Separate analyses were performed for Aad, Aact, and BI. The first step found that for all three dependent variables, the extent to which consumers form consumption visions, as measured by CVS, was significantly influenced by verbal detail (t=2.371, p<0.02) and visual detail (t=2.883, p<0.005).

In analyzing the mediational impact of Aad, it was found that Aad was significantly influenced by verbal detail (t=2.172, p<0.05) and visual detail (t=5.010, p<0.0001). When Aad was regressed on the independent variables and the mediator, the following relationships were found: Aad was significantly influenced by CVS (t=9.781, p<0.0001) and visual detail (t=4.090, p<0.0001), but not impacted by invitation and verbal detail. Thus, evidence for partial mediation of the influence of consumption visions was found for verbal detail and visual detail on Aad.

Aact was significantly influenced by visual detail (t=3.277, p<0.002). And, when Aad was regressed on the independent variables and the mediator, Aact was significantly influenced only by CVS (t=7.972, p<0.0001), providing evidence for the mediational role of consumption visions for visual detail on Aact.

Lastly, BI was significantly influenced by visual detail (t=2.398, p<0.02). In the final step, BI was significantly influenced only by CVS (t=5.096, p<0.0001). This analysis suggests that the impact of visual detail on BI is mediated by consumption vision construction.

DISCUSSION

This study represents an important first step in understanding both the antecedents and the consequences of consumption vision construction. Two primary advertising variables were found to exert an influence on the extent to which consumption visions were constructed: verbal detail and visual detail. That is, consumers are likely to form consumption visions when an advertisement depicts product attributes either verbally with concrete and detailed language or visually with a picture. The inclusion of an invitation to imagine the self did not seem to have an effect on consumption vision construction. The effect of the invitation manipulation may have been attenuated because subjects were asked to examine the ad as if they were planning to take a trip to Aruba after graduation. These instructions may have thus automatically implicated the self in any subsequent processing of the ad. Consequences of consumption vision construction are also important for making recommendations to marketing and advertising managers. The results presented in this analysis predict that marketing managers should see positive increases in Aad, Aact and BI when consumers construct consumption visions.

Of particular interest, however, is the mediational nature of consumption visions. Consumption visions mediated the impact of visual detail on Aact and BI, while evidence for partial mediation was found for verbal detail and visual detail on Aad. Consumption visions thus represent a fascinating motivational construct in consumer behavior. By depicting the self engaging in pleasurable consumption-related activities, consumption visions motivate consumers to try to engage in real, as opposed to imagined, consumption.

Limitations

Perhaps the most obvious limitation of this study stems from the nature of the consumption vision that was prompted. First, a tropical vacation to Aruba is a very high involvement, hedonic consumption experience. Perhaps consumption visions would work differently with more utilitarian consumption purchases such as a new refrigerator. A related issue in need of further research is the construction of negative consumption visions. Oyserman and Markus (1990) discuss evidence that suggests that negative consumption visions may exert a particularly strong impact on decision-making and behaviors that are designed to avoid these vivid visions of the future self. Fear appeals in advertising may be particularly impactful if they include elements that encourage consumption vision construction.

This study only tangentially addresses the complexity of consumption visions. The CVS attempts to assess the extent to which a consumption vision was formed, but it does not assess the complexity, or the number of scenes imagined, in the vision. The scale measures consumption visions along only two dimensions: the extent to which the self is incorporated in the vision and the extent to which the imagined consumption is "vivid and detailed." A more comprehensive measurement tool needs to be developed to capture the complexity dimension of consumption visions. Further, to more accurately represent the construct of interest, subsequent revisions of the scale should explicitly refer to any consumption vision construction while viewing the ad.

Future Directions

One area for future research is a focus on the lasting effects of consumption vision construction. Are consumption visions "lost" once actual consumption takes place, or do these consumption visions simply get updated with new information that can be stored for later use? Similarly, once a detailed consumption vision is constructed, how easy will it be to imagine alternative scenarios? It is possible that consumption vision construction may block the construction of alternative consumption visions. If this is the case, extensive effort may need to be expended in order to help individuals construct new consumption visions. It may also be possible, however, to encourage consumers to construct consumption visions which contain certain key elements (such as your product) or that emphasize certain key attributes as choice criteria (on which your product fares particularly well). Thus, development of an advertising program that reaches consumers at the point when they are just forming consumption visions may help consumers to construct consumption visions in which a certain product plays a critical role.

A second research question should be an identification of circumstances in which an advertiser might want to discourage the construction of consumption visions. An examination of the pattern of means for consumption vision construction indicates that consumers are the least likely to construct consumption visions in the no invitation/no verbal detail/no visual detail condition. One example of a situation in which consumption vision construction should not be used is organ donation. Indeed, a detailed advertising appeal (complete with picture) that issued an invitation to "imagine yourself" donating is likely to backfire.

Another avenue for further research is a simple one: how many consumption visions do individuals naturally construct and under what circumstances do individuals construct them? Individual differences (Strathman, Gleicher, Boninger, and Edwards 1994) may predispose some consumers to rely more on consumption visions in consumer decision making. A related question is how individuals "see" themselves performing the particular product-related behaviors in the consumption vision (Phillips et al. 1995). Individuals could "see" themselves as if they were actually performing the behaviors, for example, they may envision looking down and seeing a tropical drink in one hand. Another possibility is that they "see" themselves from the viewpoint of an outside observer who is watching the action from a distance. Extensive interviews and a detailed analysis of consumer thought protocols will likely shed some light on these questions.

The results of this study demonstrate that marketers can use certain advertising tools to help consumers construct consumption visions. These consumption visions, in turn, result in more positive attitudes and intentions which may energize consumers toward actual consumption. Although the domain of consumption vision construction is relatively new to consumer research (Phillips et al. 1995), its study has the potential to reveal many fascinating insights into the ways in which consumers imagine the future. Hopefully, this study will provide a "first step" into this uncharted territory for many future consumer researchers.

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