Next Week, Next Month, Next Year: How Perceived Temporal Boundaries Affect Initiation Expectations Mar 13, 2017 By Benjamin ConverseM. Hennecke Next Week, Next Month, Next Year: How Perceived Temporal Boundaries Affect Initiation Expectations To move from commitment to action, planners must think about the future and decide when to initiate. We demonstrate that planners prefer to initiate on upcoming days that immediately follow a temporal boundary. For example, aspiring dieters who considered a time horizon from Thursday, February 27th to Tuesday, March 4th showed expectation increases from Days 4 to 5 (Sunday to Monday) when induced to think of weekdays and from Days 2 to 3 (February 28th to March 1st) when induced to think of calendar dates. Using both causal steps- and moderation-based approaches, we demonstrate that this occurs (in part) because planners neglect situational constraints when evaluating initiation opportunities after (vs. before) temporal boundaries. A field experiment demonstrated a costly consequence: Aspiring dieters were more likely to sacrifice 1 week of access to an expensive weight-loss program if it allowed them to start on a day they perceived to follow a temporal boundary. Social Psychological and Personality Science Benjamin Converse I am an associate professor of public policy and psychology, with appointments in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and the Department of Psychology. Read full bio M. Hennecke Related Content Benjamin Converse Slow Motion Increased Perceived Intent Research To determine the appropriate punishment for a harmful action, people must often make inferences about the transgressor’s intent. In courtrooms and popular media, such inferences increasingly rely on video evidence, which is often played in “slow motion.” Jump-starting early childhood education at home: Early learning, parent motivation, and public policy. Research By the time children begin formal schooling, their experiences at home have already contributed to large variations in their math and language development, and once school begins, academic achievement continues to depend strongly on influences outside of school. It is thus essential that educational reform strategies involve primary caregivers.