Experiences Trump Things, Even Before Purchase

Researchers say anticipation of purchase is of value, more so for experiential vs material

FRIDAY, Sept. 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People derive value from the anticipation of purchasing something, and this anticipation tends to be greater for an experiential purchase than for a material purchase, according to a study published online Aug. 21 in Psychological Science.

Amit Kumar, from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and colleagues examined the hedonic differences that occur before consumption of experiential versus material purchases.

The authors note that waiting for experiences tends to be more positive than waiting for possessions. Results from four studies show that more happiness is derived from the anticipation of experiential purchases. Furthermore, compared with waiting for a material good, waiting for an experience tends to be more pleasurable and exciting. These results were seen in studies using questionnaires involving different planned purchases, in a large-scale experience-sample study, and in an archival analysis of news stories about people waiting in line to purchase something.

"People are less inclined to wait for a Volvo, Polo, or Lenovo than to sip Pernod, take a furlough, or open a Merlot because waiting for the latter is simply more pleasurable," the authors write.

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