Consumer Crushes Fade
Whether deciding to buy a new iPhone or a new car, consumers often do not consider that the initial thrill of a new purchase will wear off over time. This may help explain why people overspend on frivolous items or expensive extra product features whose enjoyment will be short-lived.
In a series of experiments, the authors, Yale SOM professors Nathan Novemsky and Ravi Dhar, and doctoral candidate Jing Wang, asked participants to predict their enjoyment from products including cars, plasma TVs, stereos, and digital cameras at different points in time. They found that even when people believe they will enjoy a product less in the future as they use and adapt to it, they fail to apply that belief when making a purchase decision.
"People don't automatically think about how their enjoyment from an item they are purchasing might change over an extended period of time," said Novemsky. "They may judge the enjoyment of having a product by considering what it's like to acquire that product."
Listen to Professor Nathan Novemsky discuss why people often underestimate the enjoyment they’ll get from a product. (6:40)