Academic journal article Studia Psychologica

Cognitive Representation of Situational and Propositional Time Flow as Basis for Temporal Framing Effect in Future Time Mode

Academic journal article Studia Psychologica

Cognitive Representation of Situational and Propositional Time Flow as Basis for Temporal Framing Effect in Future Time Mode

Article excerpt

Abstract: The paper presents a finding of new kind of the temporal framing effect, which is applied to a monetary saving proposition. Based on our previous assumption about the multiple cognitive representations of time flow (Polunin, 2009, 2011, 2013), two temporal processes were assumed - situational and propositional time flow. Each of these temporal processes has specific features, and differently impacts the evaluation of money proposed for saving. In two experiments subjects made decisions on a monetary saving proposition. Despite the equal distance to the beginning of the saving possibility and the equality of the saving amounts a temporal framing effect arises. The subjects made significantly different decisions depending on whether a situational or a propositional time flow was activated. The first one induces a slow decline of positive responses to a saving proposition while the second one leads to a strong loss of attractiveness of a saving proposition.

Key words: decision-making, framing, temporal framing, situational future, propositional future

Introduction

Over the last few decades the studies of "framing effects" in the area of human decision-making have expanded and include such domains as cognition, psycholinguistics, perception, social psychology, health psychology, clinical psychology, and business (overviews by Levine, Schneider, & Gaeth, 1998; Kühberger, 1998). The studies on temporal framing effect within the intertemporal decision-making are also presented by a number of publications (Chandran & Menon, 2004; Loewenstein, 1988; Loewenstein & Elster, 1992; Mazur, 1987; Prelec & Loewenstein, 1997). Therefore, it is difficult to find an experimental set which results in a new kind of non-described framing effect. But looking at the conventional approach to studies on intertemporal decision-making one can notice that time flow is represented as a singular, homogeneous process correlated with a growing waiting interval, and such process is equal for all objects and situations (Frederick et al., 2002; Loewenstein & Elster, 1992; Loewenstein & Prelec 1992). This approach dates back to the very early publication by Samuelson (1937), who proposed the discounting utility model (DU model). The DU model generalizes an intertemporal choice and specifies a subject's intertemporal preferences over consumption profiles. Its central idea is that all of the disparate motives under lying intertemporal choice can be condensed into a single parameter - the discount rate. In later modifications of the DU model, one can find the discussions on the parameters of equation, describing value discounting, e.g., whether it is truly hyperbolic. Not only in the DU-model but also in the general scientific paradigm and in different fields of economics, time is considered as an abstract category with time line representing a singular temporal process. On the other hand, when it concerns human made intertemporal decisions the peculiarities of time processing by the human mind must be taken into account for a more realistic modelling. The well-known discrepancy between subjective interval production and interval reproduction, shown by Fraisse (1985) and modelled by Block and Zakay (1996), points to the possible anisotropy of a subjective time line. One also has to consider the possible interferences between the processing of temporal and non-temporal information in working memory, which can be a factor in intertemporal decision-making. Moreover, psychological studies on time processing show the divergence between the flow of abstract physical time and subjective human time experience (Fraisse, 1985; Block & Zakay, 1997; Thomas & Weaver, 1975; Wearden, 2002).

Construal Level Theory (CLT; Liberman & Trope, 1998; Trope & Liberman, 2000) suggests that people have very distinct psychological associations with temporal distances. In other words, alternatives are evaluated differently at different points in time. …

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