Cultural differences in consumer impatience

Haipeng Chen, Sharon Ng, Akshay R. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


In this article, the authors examine cross-cultural variations in how people discount the future. Specifically, they predict that people from Western cultures are relatively less patient and therefore discount the future to a greater degree than do people from Eastern cultures, and thus Westerners value immediate consumption relatively more. Furthermore, on the basis of regulatory focus theory, the authors predict that when Easterners are faced with the threat of a delay in receiving a product (i.e., a prevention loss), they are more impatient, whereas when Westerners are faced with the threat of not being able to enjoy a product early (i.e., a promotion loss), their impatience increases. This enhanced impatience manifests in preference for expedited consumption of a product purchased online in two studies. In both studies, the authors used a priming methodology on "bicultural" Singaporean participants; the results support the predictions. In the second study, they also found evidence in support of the process-based explanation for the interaction between culture and message framing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-301
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2005

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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