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Space, Time, and Intertemporal Preferences

  • B. Kyu Kim
  • Gal Zauberman
  • James R. Bettman
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    Although subjective judgment of future time plays an important role in a variety of decisions, little is known about the factors that influence such judgments and their implications. Based on a time as distance metaphor and its associated conceptual mapping between space and time, this article demonstrates that spatial distance influences judgment of future time. Participants who consider a longer spatial distance judge the same future time to be longer than those considering a shorter distance. Intertemporal preferences, for which judgment of future delays is a critical factor, also shift with consideration of spatial distance: participants who consider a longer spatial distance also reveal a greater degree of impatience in intertemporal decisions as they perceive a longer delay to future rewards. The current findings support the importance of subjective judgment of future time in intertemporal preferences by introducing a factor that changes time perception without directly changing the value of outcomes.

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    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 867 - 880

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:doi:10.1086/666464
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