Understanding Optimism: Buying What You Can't Use Today But Hope to Use Tomorrow

Consumers often purchase products that they are unable to use at the time of purchase, but anticipate to be able to do so in the future (e.g., buying clothes that are one size too small). In this research, we examine the processes underlying such anticipatory purchase. Drawing on the optimism, mental simulation and goal literatures, results from multiple experiments show that optimists do not invariably engage in anticipatory purchase. Rather, the influence of optimism on anticipatory purchasing is moderated by type of processing (imagery vs. analytical), content of processing (outcome vs. process thoughts) and also depth of processing (constrained vs. unconstrained). The obtained pattern of results provides good support for an overall theoretical framework pertaining to the effects of optimism.



Citation:

Elaine Chan, Anirban Mukhopadhyay, and Jaideep Sengupta (2010) ,"Understanding Optimism: Buying What You Can't Use Today But Hope to Use Tomorrow", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 204-206 .

Authors

Elaine Chan, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China
Anirban Mukhopadhyay, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China/University of Michigan, USA
Jaideep Sengupta, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China



Volume

NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010



Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More

Featured

J3. You Think I’m Yours but, Trust Me, I’m Not: How Consumers Value Dogs and Cats

Colleen Patricia Kirk, New York Institute of Technology
Samantha Renee Kirk, Boston College, USA

Read More

Featured

I7. Male Spokespeople: Antecedents and Consequences of Social Comparison

Hsuan-Yi Chou, National Sun Yat-sen University
Xing-Yu (Marcos) Chu, Nanjing University
Chieh-Wen Cheng, National Sun Yat-sen University

Read More

Featured

I12. The Effect of Susceptibility-Induced Threat in the Preventative Communication

Moon-Yong Kim, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

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.