Pressed for time? Goal conflict shapes how time is perceived, spent, and valued

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Why do consumers often feel pressed for time? This research provides a novel answer to this question: consumers' subjective perceptions of goal conflict. The authors show that beyond the number of goals competing for consumers' time, perceived conflict between goals makes them feel that they have less time. Five experiments demonstrate that perceiving greater conflict between goals makes people feel time constrained and that stress and anxiety drive this effect. These effects, which generalize across a variety of goals and types of conflict (both related and unrelated to demands on time), influence how consumers spend time as well as how much they are willing to pay to save time. The authors identify two simple interventions that can help consumers mitigate goal conflict's negative effects: Slow breathing and anxiety reappraisal. Together, the findings shed light on the factors that drive how consumers perceive, spend, and value their time.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Etkin, J; Evangelidis, I; Aaker, J

Published Date

  • June 1, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 52 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 394 - 406

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1547-7193

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-2437

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1509/jmr.14.0130

Citation Source

  • Scopus