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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Time vs. Money Effect: Shifting Product Attitudes and Decisions through Personal Connection


The results of five field and laboratory experiments reveal a ―time vs. money effect‖ whereby activating time (vs. money) leads to a favorable shift in product attitudes and decisions. Because time increases focus on product experience, activating time (vs. money) augments one‘s personal connection with the product, thereby boosting attitudes and decisions. However, because money increases focus on product possession, the reverse effect can occur in cases where merely owning the product reflects the self (i.e., for prestige possessions, or for highly materialistic consumers). The ―time vs. money effect‖ proves robust across implicit and explicit methods of construct activation. Implications for research on the psychology of time and money are discussed.

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