Fired up for the future: How time shapes sharing

Evan Weingarten, Jonah Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


How does something's temporal location-that is, whether it occurred in the past or will occur in the future-affect whether people talk about it? Seven studies demonstrate that two factors, affective arousal and self-presentation, interact to shape time's impact on word of mouth. Future experiences are more affectively arousing than equivalent past ones. Whether this heightened arousal increases or decreases sharing, however, depends on how the topic potentially being discussed reflects on the sharer. For topics that reflect well on the sharer, arousal increases sharing such that people are more likely to talk if the event is happening in the future (vs. the past). When topics make the sharer look bad, however, this is no longer the case. These findings shed light on when people talk about and deepen understanding of the psychological drivers of word of mouth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-447
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Arousal
  • Sharing
  • Social media
  • Time
  • Word of mouth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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