Space, time, and intertemporal preferences

Journal Article

Although subjective judgment of future time plays an important role in a variety of decisions, little is known about the factors that influence such judgments and their implications. Based on a time as distance metaphor and its associated conceptual mapping between space and time, this article demonstrates that spatial distance influences judgment of future time. Participants who consider a longer spatial distance judge the same future time to be longer than those considering a shorter distance. Intertemporal preferences, for which judgment of future delays is a critical factor, also shift with consideration of spatial distance: participants who consider a longer spatial distance also reveal a greater degree of impatience in intertemporal decisions as they perceive a longer delay to future rewards. The current findings support the importance of subjective judgment of future time in intertemporal preferences by introducing a factor that changes time perception without directly changing the value of outcomes. © 2012 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kim, BK; Zauberman, G; Bettman, JR

Published Date

  • 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 39 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 867 - 880

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0093-5301

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1086/666464