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The Effect of Price on Preference Consistency Over Time

Kelly Kiyeon Lee and Min Zhao

Journal of Consumer Research, 2014, vol. 41, issue 1, 109 - 118

Abstract: Construal level theory indicates that consumers tend to prefer products high in desirability (greater functionality) for distant-future decisions but switch their preferences toward products high in feasibility (greater usage convenience) for near-future decisions. The current research demonstrates that price information, traditionally considered as a feasibility cue, can increase consumers' near-future preference toward products with greater functionality despite their low convenience, leading to preference consistency over time. As the underlying mechanism, price information increases the functionality importance for near-future decisions due to consumers' enhanced value-seeking tendency when seeing price and their lay belief that greater functionality represents higher value. Further, when consumers are led to believe that greater convenience represents higher value, price and the value-seeking tendency result in a greater preference toward easy-to-use products for the distant future and lead to preference consistency across time as well. Theoretical implications are discussed.

Date: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:doi:10.1086/675219