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EMAC 2022 Annual

Days-of-the-week effect in temporal judgments

Published: May 24, 2022


Tatiana Sokolova, Tilburg University


Many marketing activities entail information on the time they will take, e.g., the number of days it will take a packet to ship or the number of days a vacation will last. Consumers then use this information to form subjective judgments of temporal duration. We show that including days of the week information in descriptions of temporal intervals (e.g. “ordered today, delivered on Thursday, February 4th” vs. “ordered today, delivered on February 4th”) affects consumers’ temporal judgments. This happens because the days-of-the-week framing prompts people to rely on more narrow-span temporal evaluation scales. As a result, adding days of the week information while holding the objective temporal duration constant increases the perceived duration of temporal intervals. A pilot study and six experiments support this theorizing (N = 3,049). This research adds to our understanding of how decision context can activate different implicit scales and how these scales shape consumer judgments.