Contrasting Against the Future: the Unexpected Effects of Expectation

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.


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.


Tom Meyvis, New York University
Leif Nelson, New York University


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Attentional Breadth Affects In-store Exploration and Unplanned Purchasing

Mathias Clemens Streicher, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Zachary Estes, Bocconi University, Italy
Oliver B. Büttner, University of Duisburg-Essen

Read More


Shopping for Freedom: Moroccan Women's Experience in Supermarkets

Delphine Godefroit-Winkel, Toulouse Business School, Casablanca Campus
lisa penaloza, Kedge Business School
Sammy Kwaku Bonsu, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration

Read More


C3. Using Goal Theory to Promote Habit Formation During and After a Bike-to-Work Campaign

Bettina Rebekka Höchli, University of Bern
Claude Messner, University of Bern
Adrian Brügger, University of Bern

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.