Choosing variety for joint consumption
© 2016, American Marketing Association. Consumers often make choices for joint consumption with committed relationship partners, and these choices may include more or less variety. When planning a weekend for oneself and one's spouse, for example, a person could choose more varied activities (e.g., going out to dinner, to a movie, and to a concert) or less varied activities (e.g., seeing several different movies). What might affect how much variety people choose? Five experiments demonstrate that how much variety consumers prefer for joint consumption in committed relationships depends on their relationship time perspective (i.e., the perceived time ahead in the relationship). When consumers perceive more (vs. less) time ahead in a committed relationship, they prefer more variety for joint consumption with their partners. This increased preference for variety is driven by a shift in how much excitement is valued within the relationship and is unique to choices for joint consumption with the specific relationship partner. The findings demonstrate that variety preferences depend not just on personal or situational factors but also on aspects of consumers' social relationships.
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