The Role of Special Dates on Intertemporal Preferences

B. Kyu Kim, University of Pennsylvania
Selin A. Malkoc, University of Minnesota
Gal Zauberman, University of Pennsylvania
This work examines the role of alternative temporal descriptions in intertemporal preferences. We argue that using special dates to describe temporal distances provides a context to visualize the outcome. Specifically, we argue that if a date has a special meaning (e.g., 14th Feb – Valentine’s Day vs. 15th Feb – a Wednesday), people would imagine outcomes concretely, which would affect their impulsivity. In particular, if the special date is the sooner (later) of the two timing options, this description would make the outcome in the near (distant) future more concrete, leading to an increase (decrease) in impulsivity. Two experiments support these predictions.
[ to cite ]:
B. Kyu Kim, Selin A. Malkoc, and Gal Zauberman (2008) ,"The Role of Special Dates on Intertemporal Preferences", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 26-30.