Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (9): 1684-1695.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.01684
• Regular Articles •
HE Ruwan1, LI Bin1,2, ZHANG Shuying1, CUI Xinyue1, LEI Li1
Time and money are two important resources that affect consumer decision-making differently. Based on the dual-process theory, this paper discusses the effect of time and money concepts on consumers' purchase decisions and its psychological mechanism through reviewing previous literature. Specifically, the effect of time and money would be differential in consumers' the purchase decision process such as pre-purchase stage, purchasing stage, and post purchase stage. For pre-purchase decisions stage, the concept of time and money will affect consumers' product search and product evaluation strategy. When consumers search for products, currency of search (time or money) will moderate the effect of magnitude of search costs on people's willingness to search. When the currency is money, lower (vs. higher) search costs will result in higher willingness to search. When the currency is time, this effect of search costs on willingness to search will be relatively weaker. As for consumer's product evaluation, they will adopt an alternative-based evaluation strategy to evaluate product information after they are activated time concept and adopt an attribute-based evaluation strategy to evaluate product information after they are activated money concept. For purchasing decision stage, the impacts of priming time and money on product selection are different. Consumers will make different choices between virtue and vice products, hedonic and utilitarian products, experiential purchases and material purchases, and anthropomorphized products when they are activated time or money concepts. That is, if the time concept is activated, consumers tend to choose a virtue product, hedonic product, experiential purchases and prefer anthropomorphic products with no prominent functional purpose. If money is activated, consumers tend to choose vice products, utilitarian products, material purchases and prefer the anthropomorphic products with prominent functional purpose. For post-purchase decision stage, the concepts of time and money also have different effects on consumers' product attitude and the consistency of product preferences. Time priming leads to a more positive attitude toward products and a higher degree of consistency in preferences than money priming. However, for luxury goods, free goods and high materialists, money priming has a better effect than time priming. From the perspective of the dual-process theory, the psychological mechanism due to different cognitive processing modes and mindsets that are primed by time and money. Concretely, because of the value of time are more ambiguous, difficult to calculate, difficult to explain, irreplaceable and intangible than money, consumers are more dependent on the experience system to process time and product information heuristically, holistically and affectively and fall into emotional maximization mindset. Because the value of money is more specific, easy to analyze, replaceable and tangible than time, consumers are more dependent on the rational system to process money and product information analytically and fall into value maximization mindset. As a result, due to the difference of time and money concepts, different processing methods and thinking patterns further lead to consumers make different purchase decisions in three aspects: pre-purchase decision (product search and product evaluation strategy), purchasing decision (product selection) and post-purchase decision (product attitude and the consistency of product preferences). Future research should further explore the following issues: (1) Elaborating the different effects of priming time and money on purchase decisions. (2) Considering the impact from the tradeoff between time and money on purchase decisions. (3) Further exploring the different influences of priming time and money on the pre-purchase decision. (4) Exploring the neural mechanisms underlying the different effects of time and money on purchase decisions.
HE Ruwan, LI Bin, ZHANG Shuying, CUI Xinyue, LEI Li. The effect of time and money concepts on consumers' purchase decision and its psychological mechanism[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2021, 29(9): 1684-1695.
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