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Forecasting and Backcasting: Predicting the Impact of Events on the Future

Listed author(s):
  • Ebert, Jane E. J.
  • Gilbert, Daniel Todd
  • Wilson, Timothy D.
Registered author(s):

    In many choices they make—-for example, choosing between a movie and a play or deciding whether to attend a sports game shortly before a birthday party—-consumers are guided by how they expect an event will make them feel. They may predict their feelings by forecasting (imagining their feelings when the impacting event occurs, then considering how those feelings might change over time) or by backcasting (imagining their feelings in a future period, then considering how those feelings might be different were the impacting event to happen). Four studies show that backcasters expect events to have a greater hedonic impact than do forecasters, largely because they think more about the impacting event. The studies also reveal that backcasters consider other information that forecasters tend to ignore.

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    Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3549374.

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    Date of creation: 2009
    Publication status: Published in Journal of Consumer Research
    Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3549374
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    1. Haugtvedt, Curtis P & Wegener, Duane T, 1994. " Message Order Effects in Persuasion: An Attitude Strength Perspective," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 205-218, June.
    2. Gurhan-Canli, Zeynep, 2003. " The Effect of Expected Variability of Product Quality and Attribute Uniqueness on Family Brand Evaluations," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(1), pages 105-114, June.
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