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How missed temporal deadlines influence consumption behavior

Beth Vallen (Department of Marketing & Business Law, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA)
Lauren G. Block (Department of Marketing and International Business, Baruch College - The City University of New York, New York, NY, USA)
Eric Eisenstein (Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 11 August 2014




The purpose of this research is to explore how and why consumption behavior changes across time in reference to a temporal deadline, such as a meeting start time or scheduled appointment.


The authors present findings from two experiments that manipulate distance to/from a deadline and assess behavioral intentions and consumer choice, both before a deadline is reached (i.e. the individual is early) and after a deadline has passed (i.e. the individual is late).


Results demonstrate that, while individuals are more likely to refrain from consumption in favor of being on time as a deadline approaches, they are more likely to engage in consumption activities once they have already missed their deadline. Support is shown for an underlying process of affect regulation; when they are late (vs on time), consumers are likely to regulate affect via the selection of more indulgent options.

Practical implications

These studies provide insight into the both the beneficial and detrimental nature of deadlines. Further, they provide insight as to how deadlines impact consumer behavior by demonstrating differential patterns of consumption based on whether an individual is early vs late.


Documenting the effect of meeting and missing deadlines on consumption contributes to the literature on time usage and offers insights into individuals’ efforts to prioritize multiple activities that conflict due to time constraints.



Vallen, B., Block, L.G. and Eisenstein, E. (2014), "How missed temporal deadlines influence consumption behavior", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 360-370.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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