$100 a month or $1,200 a year : regulatory focus and the evaluation of temporally framed product attributes
Date of Issue2017-05-30
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.