Future Preference Uncertainty and Diversification: The Role of Temporal Stochastic Inflation
Consumers' choices tend to display greater variety when made for future versus immediate consumption. Previous accounts of such diversification differences suggested that they are driven primarily by (deterministic) shifts in underlying preference. Through a series of simulation studies, we propose and assess an alternative contributory mechanism: temporal stochastic inflation, the greater uncertainty typifying choices made for the future. We find effect sizes to be strongly influenced by relative brand attractiveness, brand attractiveness uncertainty, and degree of stochastic inflation, although not preference heterogeneity. Moreover, effect sizes are consistent with prior studies that attributed diversification differences to underlying preference shifts alone. (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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