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The influence of time and money on product evaluations - a neurophysiological analysis


  • Sebastian Lehmann

    () (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg)

  • Martin Reimann

    () (Department of Psychology/Brain & Creativity Institute, University of Southern California Los Angeles)


"Time is money" is how a common saying goes, reflecting a widespread assumption in many people's everyday life. It seems that money and time are very similar concepts which might even be exchangeable all together. However, the neurophysiological processes underlying the activation of time or money are not yet completely understood. In order to understand in how far and in which dimensions the concept of time versus the concept of money effects human behavior we enquired the neural differences of the time versus money effect. This paper broadens the understanding of both concepts and investigates the posited distinct mindsets of time and money using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology. A sample of 44 righthanded adults has been analyzed. Our data supports the idea of the existence of two distinct mindsets for time and money. However, contrasting both conditions in one general linear model only a few significant differences have been found. The insula seems to be a crucial locus for the neural difference of both mindsets. Higher insula activation in the time condition suggests stronger urge for the product primed with time.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Lehmann & Martin Reimann, 2012. "The influence of time and money on product evaluations - a neurophysiological analysis," FEMM Working Papers 120011, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:mag:wpaper:120011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Camelia Kuhnen & Brian Knutson, 2005. "The Neural Basis of Financial Risk Taking," Experimental 0509001, EconWPA.
    2. Reimann, Martin & Bechara, Antoine, 2010. "The somatic marker framework as a neurological theory of decision-making: Review, conceptual comparisons, and future neuroeconomics research," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 767-776, October.
    3. Burnham, Terence & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L., 2000. "Friend-or-foe intentionality priming in an extensive form trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 57-73, September.
    4. Bechara, Antoine & Damasio, Antonio R., 2005. "The somatic marker hypothesis: A neural theory of economic decision," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 336-372, August.
    5. Liu, Wendy & Aaker, Jennifer L., 2008. "The Happiness of Giving: The Time-Ask Effect," Research Papers 1998, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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    More about this item


    time-versus-money effect; priming; product evaluations; insula; functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); consumer neuroscience; decision neuroscience;

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