The effect of a delay between choice and consumption on consumption enjoyment

Stephen M. Nowlis, Naomi Mandel, Deborah Brown McCabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


A consumer choosing a product must often wait before consuming it. In this article, we consider the consequences of waiting on consumption enjoyment. We propose that the effect of a delay on consumption enjoyment depends on both the negative utility of the wait itself and on the positive utility of anticipating a pleasant consumption experience. These factors exert different degrees of influence, depending on characteristics of the decision task. The results of three studies suggest that a delay increases consumption enjoyment for pleasurable products when actual consumption occurs, but decreases enjoyment for imagined consumption. Further-more, the vividness of the awaited product moderates these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-510
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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