Marketing Letters

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 323–334 | Cite as

Thinking About Values in Prospect and Retrospect: Maximizing Experienced Utility

  • Joel Huber
  • John Lynch
  • Kim Corfman
  • Jack Feldman
  • Morris Holbrook
  • Donald Lehmann
  • Bertrand Munier
  • David Schkade
  • Itamar Simonson


Decision-makers often do not or cannot predict at the time of choice howtheir tastes may change by the time the outcomes are experienced. This paperexplores the implications of making decisions by maximizing experiencedutility ex post rather than ex ante. Focusing on being satisfied with choicein retrospect results in quite different kinds of problems than aprospective orientation that projects one's current preferences into thefuture. We examine a number of ways that people can easily mistake theirreactions to outcomes in the future, and propose a series of hypothesesrelated to how people will be dissatisfied with their choices. Finally, werelate these barriers to good decisions to prescriptive processes thatassist people in making decisions with which they will be happy in thefuture.

prescriptive decision processes experienced utility rational choice 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel Huber
    • 1
  • John Lynch
    • 1
  • Kim Corfman
    • 2
  • Jack Feldman
    • 3
  • Morris Holbrook
    • 4
  • Donald Lehmann
    • 4
  • Bertrand Munier
    • 5
  • David Schkade
    • 1
  • Itamar Simonson
    • 6
  1. 1.Fuqua School of BusinessDuke UniversityDurham
  2. 2.Stern School of BusinessNew York UniversityNew York City
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyGeorgia TechAtlanta
  4. 4.Graduate School of BusinessColumbia UniversityNew York City
  5. 5.Department d'Economie et GestionG.R.I.D., Ecole Normale, Superieure/CachanCachan CedexFrance
  6. 6.Graduate School of BusinessStanford UniversityStanford

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