$100 a month or $1,200 a year : regulatory focus and the evaluation of temporally framed product attributes
Date of Issue2017
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
Five studies test the idea that consumers’ regulatory goals affect their evaluation of temporally framed product attributes. A salient promotion focus leads to more extreme evaluation of attributes framed in aggregate (Lose 10 pounds over 10 weeks; Pay $1200 over a year) as compared to disaggregate (Lose 1 pound per week over 10 weeks; Pay $100 per month) terms. However, no such difference in evaluation exists for prevention focused individuals. This effect held in both financial (Studies 1,2, and 4) and non-financial (Studies 3 and 5) domains, as well as for both benefits (Studies 1 through 4) and costs (Study 5). Furthermore, using different measures of magnitude perception, Studies 4 and 5 found that the effect was driven by biased magnitude judgments – promotion focused, but not prevention focused, individuals used the largeness of the numeric expression as a heuristic for quantity evaluation. These findings suggest marketers' strategy of aggregating benefits over a longer time period and disaggregating costs over a shorter time period may be effective only when the consumer is promotion focused.