We posit that compared to the cognitive system, the affective system of judgment and decision making is relatively more engaged in the present. Specifically, we hypothesize that even if their accessibility is held constant, affective feelings are weighted more heavily in consumer judgments and decisions set in the present than in equivalent judgments and decisions set in the future or in the past. Consistent with this proposition, results from six experiments show that (a) compared to a more distant future, a nearer future increases consumers' relative preferences for options that are superior in terms of integral affect over options that are cognitively superior; (b) compared to a more distant future, a nearer future also increases the influence of incidental moods on consumers' evaluation; (c) consumers find the reliance on feelings more "natural" in decisions set in a nearer future than in decisions set in a more distant future; and (d) compared to a more distant past, a more recent past also increases the influence of incidental moods on consumers' evaluations.
Chang, Hannah, and Michel Tuan Pham. "Affect as a Decision-Making System of the Present." Journal of Consumer Research 40 (June 2013): 42-63.
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