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Future self-continuity: How conceptions of the future self transform intertemporal choice

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Abstract

With life expectancy dramatically increasing throughout much of the world, people have to make choices with a longer future in mind than they ever had to before. Yet, many indicators suggest that undersaving for the long term often occurs: in America, for instance, many individuals will not be able to maintain their preretirement standard of living in retirement. Previous research has tried to understand problems with intertemporal choice by focusing on the ways in which people treat present and future rewards. In this paper, the author reviews a burgeoning body of theoretical and empirical work that takes a different viewpoint, one that focuses on how perceptions of the self over time can dramatically affect decision making. Specifically, when the future self shares similarities with the present self, when it is viewed in vivid and realistic terms, and when it is seen in a positive light, people are more willing to make choices today that may benefit them at some point in the years to come.

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... To address our aims, we conducted a literature review of the psychological research on the perception of the future self. Notably, Hershfield [4] provided a detailed review of the relevant literature. However, since his review in 2011, this body of literature has gained vast momentum. ...
... Consistent with Hershfield [4,75], our literature review shows that most of the research in this area focuses on one or two of the three following components in people's conception of their future self: (1) the perceived similarity and connectedness between the current and future self, (2) the degree of vividness when the future self is imagined, and (3) the degree of positivity felt toward the future self. It should be noted that researchers have used different labels in referring to these components. ...
... Akin to the existing literature on the relatedness component, the literature on positive views of the future self has used several different labels. For example, some studies measure "self-prediction positivity" [68], "perceived valence of future time" [44], or "positivity of the future self" [4]. Despite differences in the labels, this component captures the degree to which individuals see their future self as desirable and positive. ...
Article
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People encounter intertemporal decisions every day and often engage in behaviors that are not good for their future. One factor that may explain these decisions is the perception of their distal future self. An emerging body of research suggests that individuals vary in how they perceive their future self and many perceive their future self as a different person. The present research aimed to (1) build on and extend Hershfield’s et al. (2011) review of the existing literature and advance the conceptualization of the relationship between the current and future self, (2) extend and develop measures of this relationship, and (3) examine whether and how this relationship predicts intrapsychic and achievement outcomes. The results of the literature review suggested that prior research mostly focused on one or two of the following components: (a) perceived relatedness between the current and future self in terms of similarity and connectedness, (b) vividness in imagining the future self, and (c) degree of positivity felt toward the future self. Additionally, differences in how researchers have labeled the overall construct lead us to propose future self-identification as a new label for the three-component construct. Our research built on existing measures to test the validity of a three-component model of future self-identification. Across three samples of first-year undergraduates, this research established the psychometric properties of the measure, and then examined the relationships between the components and four outcome domains of interest: (1) psychological well-being (self-esteem, hope), (2) imagination of the future (visual imagery of future events, perceived temporal distance), (3) self-control, and (4) academic performance. We demonstrated that the three components of future self-identification were correlated but independent factors. Additionally, the three components differed in their unique relationships with the outcome domains, demonstrating the utility of measuring all three components of future self-identification when seeking to predict important psychological and behavioral outcomes.
... Our future self is the beneficiary or unfortunate inheritor of all our major decisions and daily choices. During these choices, the tendency to act for the benefit of the future self has been shown to be contingent upon the degree of connection between the person's present and future selves, or future self-continuity (Hershfield, 2011;Hershfield and Bartels, 2018). These choices tend to accrue over time with future self-continuity positively correlating with better general well-being (Rutchick et al., 2018), improved mental health (McElwee and Haugh, 2010;Sokol and Eisenheim, 2016), better academic performance (Adelman et al., 2017), and greater personal net worth (Ersner-Hershfield et al., 2009). ...
... These changes in participants' behavior after these manipulations are not always strictly attributed to future self-continuity, but often studied through one of the three domains of future self-continuity proposed in Hershfield (2011), of similarity/connectedness, liking, and vividness. Future selfsimilarity/connectedness connotes an individual's belief in the stability of their "self over time" (Hershfield and Bartels, 2018), which broadly refers to any number of current beliefs, desires, or personality traits believed to remain similar between an individual's present and future selves (Bartels and Rips, 2010). ...
... Model residuals were normally distributed for FSC, FSS and FSV models. FSL model residuals were non-normally distributed and the baseline and, consistent with FSL reported in Hershfield (2011), the post-experiment FSL scores were negatively skewed (Shapiro-Wilk's W = 0.88, p < 0.001), indicating a ceiling effect. FSL estimations may be unreliable. ...
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In the current study, we tested a novel perspective-taking exercise aimed at increasing the connection participants felt toward their future self, i.e., future self-continuity. Participants role-played as their successful future self and answered questions about what it feels like to become their future and the path to get there. The exercise was also conducted in a virtual reality environment and in vivo to investigate the possible added value of the virtual environment with respect to improved focus, perspective-taking, and effectiveness for participants with less imagination. Results show that the perspective taking exercise in virtual reality substantially increased all four domains of future self-continuity, i.e., connectedness, similarity, vividness, and liking, while the in vivo equivalent increased only liking and vividness. Although connectedness and similarity were directionally, but not significantly different between the virtual and in vivo environments, neither the focus, perspective taking, or individual differences in imagination could explain this difference—which suggests a small, but non-significant, placebo effect of the virtual reality environment. However, lower baseline vividness in the in vivo group may explain this difference and suggests preliminary evidence for the dependency of connectedness and similarity domains upon baseline vividness. These findings show that the perspective taking exercise in a VR environment can reliably increase the future self-continuity domains.
... Future self-continuity refers to the degree to which an individual associates the present self with the future self (Hershfield, Garton, Ballard, Samanez-larkin, & Knutson, 2009a;Hershfield, Wimmer, & Knutson, 2009b), the higher the individual's future self-continuity, the closer the connection between them. According to the future self-continuity model of Hershfield (2011), future self-continuity is jointly influenced by three dimensions. They are similarity, vividness and positivity. ...
... The study of Hershfield (2011) found that future self-continuity would affect individuals' inter-temporal decision-making and was mainly reflected in time discount-individuals pay more attention to their current profits and losses than those in the future (Hershfield et al., 2009;Ablatijiang, Liu, Zhu, Zheng, Liang, Rao, Wu, Li, 2015). Individuals with high future self-continuity believe that the present self is closely related to the future self, so they will attach more importance to the future self's profits and losses, thereby reducing the time discount in inter-temporal decision-making. ...
... Future self-continuity is also an important factor affecting inter-temporal decision-making, which is mainly reflected in time discount. Individuals with high future self-continuity would like to wait for higher remuneration (Hershfield, 2011). Future self-continuity will also affect saving and consumption behaviors (Bartels, & Urminsky, 2015) and the occurrence of bad social behaviors (Liu et al., 2018). ...
Article
The problem of mobile phone dependence is becoming more and more serious. Therefore, it is very important to explore the causes of mobile phone dependence and its psychological mechanism. One of the important characteristics of mobile phone dependence is the loss of control, which shows that self-control is an important factor affecting mobile phone dependence. Self-continuity is closely related to cell phone dependence. Mobile phone addicts usually use mobile phones to temporarily relieve the pressure and negative emotions, but it will lead to more pressure and negative emotions in the future. In order to examine the situation of college students’ future self-continuity, self-control and mobile phone addiction as well as their relationships, especially mediating effect of self-control, a total of 482 college students were assessed with Future Self-Continuity Scale (FSC), Self-Control Scale (SCS), and Mobile Phone Dependency Index (MPAI). The results showed that: (1) The future self-continuity, self-control and mobile phone dependence of the college students in this study were all at a medium level, and there was no significant difference in demographic variables (such as gender, grade, etc.); (2) Both future self-continuity and self-control were negatively correlated with mobile phone dependence; (3) There was a significant positive correlation between future self-continuity and self-control; (4) Self-control played a partial mediating role between future self-continuity and mobile phone dependence. Therefore, improving self-continuity and self-control can be an effective way to intervene mobile phone dependence. In addition research implication, limitations and future directions were discussed.
... Past memories shape our personal narrative 25 and enable us to predict, simulate, and plan for future outcomes 17,26 . Further, manipulating participants' representation of the future by enhancing its perceived concreteness with detail 4,27,28 and cueing individuals to engage in episodic foresight can alter discounting behavior [29][30][31] . Given these anatomical and functional connections, we hypothesized that distance representations of both the past and future would influence discounting behavior. ...
... According to the construal level theory, distant future outcomes are subject to high-level construal, where focus is placed on the abstract features of the events, and proximal future outcomes are subject to low-level construal, where emphasis is place on the detailed, concrete features 16 . Research in this domain has revealed that inducing a future reward to be construed at a lower level, i.e. enhancing its concreteness with detail, can reduce temporal discounting 4,[27][28][29]31 . We distinguish ourselves from this line of work by measuring the impact of inherent variability in temporal distance representations for world events across individuals. ...
... healthy participants ages 18-30 were recruited from New York, USA and 43 healthy participants from Guangzhou, China. Participants rated their English and Mandarin proficiency (1 = not at all fluent, 5 = completely fluent43 ), and were retroactively excluded if they were fluent (score of[4][5] in the opposing language or if they were not fluent in the language of their own country (score of 1-2). Three English speakers were excluded for high Mandarin proficiency and one English speaker was excluded for an inability to follow task instructions. ...
Article
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Delay discounting describes the phenomenon whereby the subjective value of a reward declines as the time until its receipt increases. Individuals differ in the subjective value that they assign to future rewards, yet, the components feeding into this appraisal of value remain unclear. We examined whether temporal psychological distance, i.e. the closeness one feels to the past and future, is one such component. English speakers in the USA and Mandarin speakers in China completed a delay discounting task and organized past and future world events on a canvas according to their representation of the event’s temporal position relative to themselves. Previous work has identified linguistic and cultural differences in time conception between these populations, thus, we hypothesized that this sample would display the variability necessary to probe whether temporal psychological distance plays a role in reward valuation. We found that English speakers employed horizontal, linear representations of world events, while Mandarin speakers used more two-dimensional, circular representations. Across cultures, individuals who represented the future as more distant discounted future rewards more strongly. Distance representations of past events, however, were associated with discounting behaviors selectively in Mandarin speakers. This suggests that temporal psychological distance plays a fundamental role in farsighted decision-making.
... This finding is in line with the hypotheses coming from CLT. The activation of the distant future self might have promoted the focus on abstract safety measures rules and regulations (Trope & Lieberman, 2003, 2010 and increased the responsibility for one's safety in the future (Hershfield, 2011;Parfit, 1984). Contrary to expectations, activation of the future self did not increase compliance intentions when compared to the activation of connectedness with other people. ...
... Longitudinal studies are a better way of dealing with individual differences, and one could include behavioural measures as dependent variables. Hershfield (2011) assumed that three components of future self-continuity exist: similarity, vividness, and positive affect. Recently, Sokol and Serper (2019) psychometrically validated an instrument to measure said constructs. ...
Article
The failure to engage in responsible behaviour is related to the inability to consider future consequences of actions. An experiment was conducted to examine whetherincreasing the vividness of the future self affects adherence and endorsement of COVID-19 safety measures. A total of 184 participants were randomly assigned to 3 groups. Depending on the experimental condition, they were tasked with writing a letter to other people (their friend), a proximal future self, and a distant future self. Participants in the distant future self and the other people conditions showed greater adherence intentions than proximal future self participants. No differences were found between the distant future self and the other people group. Further group differences were found in the endorsement of safety measures, with the distant-future self-group showing more condemnation than the other two groups. Commitment to the COVID-19 safety measures mediated the group differences on both dependent variables. The results are discussed within the framework of the Construal Level Theory and the Future Self-continuity model.
... In general, people are myopic when making self-regulatory decisions that would encourage moving their current self closer to their ideal possible selves (Hershfield, 2011;Hershfield, 2018;Hershfield & Bartels, 2018). That is, people tend to favor the desires of their current self over the interests of their future ideal possible selves, even when their future selves would have objectively more to gain (e.g., better health by not smoking or not eating fatty foods now; more money if they can delay gratification by using savings accounts; feeling more rested if they went to bed at a reasonable hour instead of staying up late). ...
... F I G U R E 1 Framework of the relationships between psychological connection factors and pursuit of an ideal possible self Behavioral and neurological research suggests people think about-and subsequently make decisions for-their future selves as they do other people (for reviews, see Hershfield, 2011, Hershfield, 2018. People picture their future selves from an observer's perspective rather than from an actor's perspective and make trait attributional decisions about them as they do others (Pronin & Ross, 2006). ...
Article
People dream of countless ideal possible selves they hope to become, but they have a difficult time actualizing them. In the present work, we review and integrate prior research regarding possible selves, self‐regulation, and interpersonal relationships. We draw on multiple perspectives to define ideal possible selves and clarify their structure. We suggest that framing self‐regulation of an ideal possible self as relating to one's ideal possible self affords an explanation that ideal possible selves can (but sometimes do not) motivate current self‐regulation. We discuss two ways ideal possible selves motivate current self‐regulatory behavior: through increased vividness of the ideal possible self and through commitment to the ideal possible self. These routes pave the way for future research designed to help people increase their efforts toward becoming their ideal possible selves.
... In AN samples, mixed findings from previous studies, including decreased reward-related activation in cingulostriatal circuitry in acAN [16] and increased activation in executive control regions in recAN [22], might be attributable to differences in study design, weight status, and analytic strategies [13]. Perhaps more important in relation to AN, which is often conceptualized as a disorder characterized by a fundamental deficit in self-regulation [28][29][30][31], intertemporal choices are inherently self-relevant [32] and DD is also commonly associated with activation changes in regions of the default mode network (DMN; including medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate/precuneus, inferior parietal regions) [33] that are involved in self-reflection and prospection [34,35]. ...
... However, the longitudinal activation increase in visual (middle occipital) cortex suggestive of greater task focus at follow-up, might speak against this interpretation and alternative hypotheses should also be considered. Given the self-relevant nature of intertemporal choices [32,73], the involvement of DMN in self-referential processing [74,75] and the notion that AN is characterized by fundamental disturbances in self-identity [28][29][30], another interpretation of increased DMN activation after weight restoration is that it might reflect improved self-regulation and the ability to integrate self-relevant signals in decision-making. The likelihood of this alternative account is supported by findings of differences in DMN activation in AN samples in various tasks involving self-perception and evaluation [69][70][71][72]. ...
Article
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The capacity of patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) to resist food-based rewards is often assumed to reflect excessive self-control. Previous cross-sectional functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies utilizing the delay discounting (DD) paradigm, an index of impulsivity and self-control, suggested altered neural efficiency of decision-making in acutely underweight patients (acAN) and a relative normalization in long-term, weight-recovered individuals with a history of AN (recAN). The current longitudinal study tested for changes in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation during DD associated with intensive weight restoration treatment. A predominately adolescent cohort of 22 female acAN patients (mean age-15.5 years) performed an established DD paradigm during fMRI at the beginning of hospitalization and again after partial weight restoration (≥12% body mass index (BMI) increase). Analyses investigated longitudinal changes in both reward valuation and executive decision-making processes. Additional exploratory analyses included comparisons with data acquired in aged-matched healthy controls (HC) as well as probes of functional connectivity between empirically identified nodes of the "task-positive" frontoparietal control network (FPN) and "task-negative" default-mode network (DMN). While treatment was not associated with changes in behavioral DD parameters or activation, specific to reward processing, deactivation of the DMN during decision-making was significantly less pronounced following partial weight restoration. Strengthened DMN activation during DD might reflect a relative relaxation of cognitive overcontrol or improved self-referential, decision-making. Together, our findings present further evidence that aberrant decision-making in AN might be remediable by treatment and, therefore, might constitute an acute effect rather than a core trait variable of the disorder.
... After students wrote a letter to their future self, and then wrote back to their present self from the perspective of their future self, they came to feel more connected to their imagined future self in 3 years' time. This study complements previous studies that reported that facing a virtual image of a future self (Hershfield, 2011) and taking the perspective of the future self (Blouin-Hudon & Pychyl, 2017) facilitates future self-continuity. ...
... Second, the meaningful time-span for adolescents' formative academic and career decisions may be shorter than 10 years. Although the benefits of health-related or saving behaviors may not be enjoyed until many years into the future (Hershfield, 2011;Rutchick et al., 2018), current academic behaviors can have a measurable effect on scholarly and career outcomes over the nearer term. 2. We conducted an analysis to explore the mediation effects of the increased future selfcontinuity. ...
Article
We expected that enhanced future self-continuity could benefit students planning future academic and career pursuits, and tested a new method to foster self-continuity. A pilot study demonstrated that future self-continuity predicted academic and career planning and was lower in vocational-oriented than academic-oriented high school students. In Study 1, vocational-track students’ future self-continuity was higher after a letter exchange exercise with their future self (send and reply). In Study 2, students randomly assigned to a letter exchange (send to and reply from future self) condition showed increases in future self-continuity, career planning, and academic delay of gratification relative to students assigned to a send-only condition. Perspective taking with a future self can close the gap between present and future selves.
... Research demonstrates that people frequently prefer immediate smaller rewards (i.e., spending) over delayed larger rewards (i.e., saving). Furthermore, this preference for immediacy increases as the temporal distance between the rewards increases--in a phenomenon known as temporal discounting (Frederick, Loewenstein, & O'Donoghue, 2002;Hershfield, 2011). ...
... Other theorists have suggested that there are multiple temporally distinct identities of the self with each self, having a different level of psychological connectedness to other selves in the past, present, and future (Bartels & Rips, 2010;Bartels & Urminsky, 2011;Hershfield, 2011;Parfit, 1971). Accordingly, future selves which are temporally closer to the present self experience a greater degree of overlap in characteristics such as beliefs, preferences, and values resulting in a greater connection and lower discounting rates, all else being equal. ...
Article
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Insufficient saving for retirement is one consequence of excessive discounting of the future but attempts to mitigate it often involve costly or time‐intensive personalized interventions. Marques, Mariano, Lima, and Abrams, by contrast, found that using a generic Future Time Perspective questionnaire to increase future “self‐relevance” was an effective method to increase money allocation to retirement when the salience of future aging was also higher. Originally conducted in Portugal, the present study aimed to replicate Marques et al’s findings in the UK context. In the present study (n = 219), participants were shown a website advertising a financial product. The results support Marques and colleagues’ assertion that, alone, a website priming future aging was insufficient to increase retirement savings in a money allocation task. However, in contrast to Marques et al’s original findings, we find no evidence that future self‐relevance moderates the effect such that priming future aging becomes effective when individuals have higher future self‐relevance. Instead, we find that aging primes are ineffective at increasing retirement saving regardless of whether individuals are high or low in future self‐relevance. Possible explanations for this discrepancy in findings, including methodological and cultural differences, are explored as well as directions for future research.
... Not only can a lack of continuity manifest in the adoption of a third-person perspective, but manipulating perspective can result in feeling disconnected from one's past or future self (see Tausen, Carpenter, & Macrae, 2019 for review). For individuals who feel more in tune with their future selves, or acknowledge stronger links between current decisions and future consequences, there is less difference between choices made for the near and distant future (Bartels & Urminsky, 2011;Hershfield, 2011;Mitchell, Schirmer, Ames, & Gilbert, 2011;Parfit, 1971Parfit, , 1987Schelling, 1984;Stephan, Shidlovoski, & Sedlikides, 2018;Thaler & Shefrin, 1981). ...
... While this has yet to be tested, Löckenhoff and Rutt (2017) do identify three studies that have directly explored the link between age and future self-continuity. Corroborating work focused on past self-continuity (Habermas & Köber, 2015;Sedikides et al., 2016), investigations probing the future have revealed a positive correlation between age and self-continuity (Hershfield, 2011;Rutt & Löckenhoff, 2016a, b). In particular, Rutt and Löckenhoff (2016b) charted the self-continuity associated with contemplations of multiple time points (from 3 months to 10 years from now) and found that after 1 year, older adults' ratings of self-continuity begin to stabilize, whereas younger adults continued to experience a decrease in self-continuity with increased temporal distance. ...
Article
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Background and Objectives With rapid advancements in medicine, technology, and nutrition, the future holds the possibility of longer and healthier lives. Despite garnering attention from myriad disciplines, psychological perspectives on life extension are scarce. In three studies, we addressed this gap by exploring key mental characteristics and psychological variables associated with simulating an expanded life span and thus an extremely distant future self. Research Design and Methods Three studies investigated the construal (i.e., valence, vividness, and visual perspective) of extremely distant future simulations and the extent to which participants felt connected to their future selves (i.e., self-continuity). Studies 1 and 2 investigated the characteristics of imagery associated with different ages ranging from near the current species maximum (e.g., 120, 150) to more highly hypothetical ages (e.g., 201, 501). Study 3 probed the mental construal of extreme aging among different populations (i.e., life-extension supporters, students, and Mechanical Turk workers). Studies also assessed participants’ general feelings about the ethicality and likelihood of techniques that halt or reverse biological aging to help individuals live beyond the current life expectancy. Results Participants in all studies reported being able to vividly imagine expanded aging scenarios (increased chronological, without biological, and aging), but these simulations were characterized by a decreased sense of connection to one’s future self (i.e., self-continuity) compared to a control condition. Temporal distance did not, however, impact ratings of self-continuity when comparing experimental conditions (i.e., imagining one’s self 120 vs 150 or 201 vs 501). Curiously, a sense of self-continuity (when simulating oneself well beyond the current life expectancy) remained intact for individuals who belonged to a community of life-extension supporters. The perceived likelihood and ethicality of extended life-span scenarios also varied significantly across different populations. Discussion and Implications The current work is the first to quantify the disconnect between one’s current and extremely distant (i.e., beyond the current life expectancy) future self. Given the behavioral implications of feeling disconnected from one’s future self (e.g., failing to save for retirement or care for one’s own physical health), these findings inform a critical barrier of extended life spans and provide insight into potential remedies (e.g., enhancing the perceived likelihood of living longer). Theoretical implications of hypotheticality and temporal distance, two key dimensions of Construal Level Theory, and their impact on the construal and self-continuity associated with future simulations are also discussed.
... Further, interview data suggested that some caregivers believed they would age better than their care recipients had, and they engaged in temporal discounting, prioritizing present-oriented sources of enjoyment (e.g. travel) over planning for care needs (Hershfield, 2011). This is consistent with findings that individuals may not accurately estimate their risk of care needs nor dependency (Henning-Smith & Shippee, 2015). ...
... Second, planning requires consideration of unpleasant future possibilities; thus, framing the discussion as promoting protection against certain threats (e.g., planning may promote autonomy) may be more effective than framing in terms of risks associated with aging (i.e., a negative focus; Löckenhoff & Carstensen, 2004). Third, behavioral change research has demonstrated that temporal discounting (a barrier to future oriented planning) may be mitigated by increasing perceived connection between the present-self to a future-self (e.g., by presenting individuals with photographs of themselves that have been edited to appear older; Hershfield, 2011). Fourth, to support families, future research should evaluate communication strategies that promote familial planning, for example, the use of politeness (Fowler et al., 2014). ...
Article
A mixed method design was used to examine how caregiving and transitioning a family member into long-term care (LTC) influence planning. Participants, aged 50+ from the community, completed self-report questionnaires. Quantitative data evaluated differences between three groups (non-caregivers, caregivers, caregivers with experience in assisting with a LTC transition); and predictive effects of caregiving, care expectations and social support to planning. Interviews among a subsample of caregivers examined how experiences of caregiving, including assisting in a transition to LTC, and social support influenced planning. Results indicated that: (1) caregivers with LTC transition experience planned significantly more than non-caregivers, (2) caregiving, care expectations, and social support significantly predicted of planning, and (3) future care expectation was an important mechanism in the relationship between caregiving and planning. These findings underscore the impact of caregiving experiences on expectations of future care needs and preparation for future care needs, and the importance of social support.
... It is almost as if the lack of connection between "me-today" and "me-in-thefuture" drives people to see "me-in-the-future" as a complete stranger. In this regard, studies have shown that the EFT effect on discounting-related behavior is more pronounced when the vividness or concreteness of the future simulated event is enhanced ( O'Donnell et al., 2017;Hershfield, 2011;Bartels and Rips, 2010 ). For example, Hershfield et al. (2011) shows that allowing people to interact with age-progressed renderings of themselves made them allocate more financial resources into the future. ...
... The health-related video might motivate subjects to change their current dietary habits toward a healthier lifestyle. However, it is conceivable that thinking about the consequences of unhealthy behaviors (e.g., stress, tiredness) might overwhelm them, causing an opposite, backfire effect ( Hershfield, 2011 ). Moreover, we believe that this treatment effect might not be as strong as that from the EFT condition since subjects might not feel connected with their future self-image, hindering them from acting more future-oriented. ...
Article
Episodic future thinking, defined as the ability to project oneself into the future, has proven useful to pre-experience the future consequences of present actions. We investigate how episodic future thinking influences the food choices of normal weight, overweight, and obese individuals. In doing so, we conduct a controlled laboratory experiment in which participants are presented with representations of weight-increased and weight-reduced modified images of themselves before performing a food choice task. This allows subjects to vividly imagine the future consequences of their actions. We also test the effect of providing health-related information on food choices to compare with the episodic future thinking effect. Our results suggest that while providing health-related information increases the number of lite snack choices of overweight and obese individuals, engaging in episodic future thinking has a positive impact on the food choices of the obese only. These findings are supported by eye-tracking data showing how visual attention and emotional arousal (measured by pupil size) impact individuals’ food choices.
... A vivid view of the future has implications for the salience of future rewards, decisionmaking, and behavior (Hershfield, 2011). College students are likely to perceive present rewards (e.g., going to a party) and barriers (e.g., difficulty paying tuition) as highly salient in comparison to distal rewards like college graduation and their career. ...
... Additionally, future vividness increases the perceived connection between the current and future self (Hershfield, 2011). After viewing an aged simulation of their future self (i.e., a manipulation of vividness), participants felt more connected to their future and reduced monetary discounting ). ...
Article
This research followed students over their first 2 years of college. During this time, many students lose sight of their goals, leading to poor academic performance and leaving STEM and business majors. This research was the first to examine longitudinal changes in future vividness, how those changes impact academic success, and identify sex differences in those relationships. Students who started college with clear pictures of graduation and life after graduation, and those who gained clarity, were more likely to believe in their academic abilities, and, in turn, earn a higher cumulative GPA, and persist in STEM and business. Compared to men, women reported greater initial vividness in both domains. In vividness of graduation, women maintained their advantage with no sex differences in how vividness changed. However, men grew in vividness of life after graduation while women remained stagnant. These findings have implications for interventions to increase academic performance and persistence.
... One core temporal feature of the self is its ability to operate across, and thus integrate, different time scales, entailing temporal continuity (Ersner-Hershfield et al., 2009;Ersner-Hershfield et al., 2008;Northoff, 2017). While both the physiological and psychological aspects of our body and the environment change continuously, our self is characterized by stability and endures nonetheless-the self thus provides temporal continuity over both short and long timescales (e.g., Ersner-Hershfield et al., 2009;Hershfield, 2011;Northoff, 2016Northoff, , 2017Schacter et al., 2012). The central importance of the temporal continuity of our self is further underlined by the fact that its disruption can lead to major alterations in our mental life, as manifested in psychiatric disorders like depression, mania, and psychosis or schizophrenia (Giersch & Mishara, 2017;Martin et al., 2014;Martin, Franck, Cermolacce, Coull, & Giersch, 2018;Martin, Giersch, Huron, & van Wassenhove, 2013;Northoff, 2007Northoff, , 2014Northoff, , 2016Northoff et al., 2017). ...
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The self is a multifaceted phenomenon that integrates information and experience across multiple time scales. How temporal integration on the psychological level of the self is related to temporal integration on the neuronal level remains unclear. To investigate temporal integration on the psychological level, we modified a well‐established self‐matching paradigm by inserting temporal delays. On the neuronal level, we indexed temporal integration in resting‐state EEG by two related measures of scale‐free dynamics, the power law exponent and autocorrelation window. We hypothesized that the previously established self‐prioritization effect, measured as decreased response times or increased accuracy for self‐related stimuli, would change with the insertion of different temporal delays between the paired stimuli, and that these changes would be related to temporal integration on the neuronal level. We found a significant self‐prioritization effect on accuracy in all conditions with delays, indicating stronger temporal integration of self‐related stimuli. Further, we observed a relationship between temporal integration on psychological and neuronal levels: higher degrees of neuronal integration, that is, higher power‐law exponent and longer autocorrelation window, during resting‐state EEG were related to a stronger increase in the self‐prioritization effect across longer temporal delays. We conclude that temporal integration on the neuronal level serves as a template for temporal integration of the self on the psychological level. Temporal integration can thus be conceived as the “common currency” of neuronal and psychological levels of self.
... Tools for implementing the negotiation-with-oneself strategy can be derived from both decision-making-and social-conflict research. Decision-making research suggests that an increasing similarity between one's present-and future self may trigger a party's readiness to negotiate with themself (e.g., Bartels and Urminsky, 2011;Hershfield, 2011;Urminsky, 2017). Alternatively, changing the primary default consideration from present-to future interests may also stimulate intrapersonal negotiations (Weber et al., 2007;Sunstein and Reisch, 2013). ...
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Transformative and mutually beneficial solutions require decision-makers to reconcile present- and future interests (i.e., intrapersonal conflicts over time) and to align them with those of other decision-makers (i.e., interpersonal conflicts between people). Despite the natural co-occurrence of intrapersonal and interpersonal conflicts in the transformation toward sustainability, both types of conflicts have been studied predominantly in isolation. In this conceptual article, we breathe new life into the traditional dialogue between individual decision-making- and negotiation research and address critical psychological barriers to the transformation toward sustainability. In particular, we argue that research on intrapersonal and interpersonal conflicts should be tightly integrated to provide a richer understanding of the interplay between these conflicts. We propose a novel, unifying framework of interdependent conflicts that systematically structures this interplay, and we analyze how complex interdependencies between the social (i.e., conflict between decision-makers) and temporal (i.e., conflict within a decision-maker) dimensions pose fundamental psychological barriers to mutually beneficial solutions. Since challenges to conflict resolution in the transformation toward sustainability emerge not only between individual decision-makers but also frequently between groups of decision-makers, we scale the framework up to the level of social groups and thereby provide an interdependent-conflicts perspective on the interplay between intra- and intergenerational conflicts. Overall, we propose simple, testable propositions, identify intervention approaches, and apply them to transition management. By analyzing the challenges faced by negotiating parties during interdependent conflicts and highlighting potential intervention approaches, we contribute to the transformation toward sustainability. Finally, we discuss implications of the framework and point to avenues for future research.
... Tudi s psihološkega vidika obstajajo nekateri pomisleki (kot naprimer pomislek, da se bodo dolgoživi ljudje dolgočasili ali pa da se bodo še bolj bali smrti) kot tudi zanimive teorije, ki skušajo pojasniti, zakaj je dandanes tako malo zanimanja za tovrsten razvoj. Ena teh teorij (Hershfield 2011) trdi, da sebe v prihodnosti čustveno dojemamo kot tujce, kot druge ljudi. Ko so se na primer ljudje v eksperimentu videli računalniško postarane, so bolj začeli skrbeti za dobrobit svojega prihodnjega jaza -bolj kot preden so se sebe v prihodnosti živo zavedali (Van Gelder in dr. ...
Conference Paper
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V zadnjih letih se številni raziskovalci ukvarjajo z vprašanjem, kako je sekularizacija povezana z religijsko polarizacijo. Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme (2014, 2016) je ponudila solidno empirično podporo tezi, da v zadnjih desetletjih sekularizacija v zahodnih družbah predvsem zmanjšuje deleže zmerno religioznih posameznikov, pri čemer se pričakovano povečujejo deleži nereligioznih, vendar pa deleži visoko religioznih pri tem ne upadajo ali pa se celo povečujejo. Te trende avtorica povezuje z vse večjimi ideološkimi razlikami in napetostmi med nereligioznimi in visoko religioznimi segmenti družb. Pred kratkim so Ribberink, Achterberg in Houtman (2018) na vzorcu zahodnoevropskih držav potrdili, da je stopnja religijske polarizacije povezana z višjo stopnjo sekulariziranosti, hkrati pa ugotovili, da je povezana tudi z relativno prevlado katolištva. Analiza podatkov anketne raziskave mladih iz desetih držav jugovzhodne Evrope pritrjuje navedenim ugotovitvam, saj se najvišja stopnja polarizacije izkaže prav med mladimi iz Hrvaške in Slovenije - držav, ki sta hkrati pretežno katoliški in v obravnavani skupini držav tudi najbolj sekularizirani.
... Tudi s psihološkega vidika obstajajo nekateri pomisleki (kot naprimer pomislek, da se bodo dolgoživi ljudje dolgočasili ali pa da se bodo še bolj bali smrti) kot tudi zanimive teorije, ki skušajo pojasniti, zakaj je dandanes tako malo zanimanja za tovrsten razvoj. Ena teh teorij (Hershfield 2011) trdi, da sebe v prihodnosti čustveno dojemamo kot tujce, kot druge ljudi. Ko so se na primer ljudje v eksperimentu videli računalniško postarane, so bolj začeli skrbeti za dobrobit svojega prihodnjega jaza -bolj kot preden so se sebe v prihodnosti živo zavedali (Van Gelder in dr. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This article summarizes key findings from the study of attitudes among religious leaders in Slovenia towards the structure of politics and society, and how religion relates to these spheres. The aims are to determine types of attitudes and examine the compatibility of these viewpoints with central features of a modern society, which can reveal their potential for fostering societal conflict. The first result is that the types of attitudes generated generally support a modern, pluralist society in various dimensions — political, economic, cultural, and also spiritual. Secondly, differences are mainly located in areas concerning the treatment of the RCC vis-à-vis the state compared to other religious communities, and in the perception of consequences of secular trends among the population. Thirdly, no denominational type can be identified.
... Indeed, people describe their distant futures in relatively general and abstract terms compared to descriptions of the nearer future (Parfit, 1971;Trope, Liberman, & Wakslak, 2007;Wakslak, Nussbaum, Liberman, & Trope, 2008). Moreover, future selves tend to feel like strangers rather than well-known selves displaced in time (Hershfield, 2011). These nebulous conceptions undermine motivation to prepare for long-term goals, such as comfortable retirements. ...
Article
Part of the challenge young people face when preparing for lifelong financial security is visualizing the far-off future. Age-progression technology has been shown to motivate young people to save for retirement. The current study applied age progression for motivating socioeconomically diverse community college students as part of a college planning course. We recruited 106 students enrolled in a mandatory "Transitioning to College" course and randomly assigned them to view age-progressed or same-aged digital avatars. Compared to controls, age-progressed participants gave more correct answers and exhibited higher confidence (i.e., fewer "don't know" responses) on a financial literacy test. Confidence mediated the effect of age progression on correct responses, but not the other way around, pointing to financial confidence as a precursor to effective financial education. Students also reported interest in attending more long-term financial planning workshops (e.g., investing and retirement) available through their college. No differences were observed in financial planning for the near term (e.g., student aid and credit cards). The current study demonstrates the viability of age progression as a practical, inexpensive, and scalable intervention. Findings also illustrate the significance of this intervention for reducing pervasive socioeconomic and age disparities in financial knowledge and enhancing long-term financial prospects across future generations. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... It also involves other aspects beyond the issue of resource allocation over an extended time frame. Having a long-term view is also related to self-projection over a long time horizon; individuals were found to be more willing to save for their future selves if their emotional connection between their present and future selves was strengthened (Hershfield, 2011). Individuals' positive outlook to retirement, termed 'future time perspective', was found to be positively associated with retirement saving contribution rates . ...
Thesis
Recent developments in the pension landscape have resulted in an increased level of uncertainty for the younger generation’s retirement saving, the nature of which has consequently become more akin to wealth accumulation. Young adults are increasingly encouraged to save more for the future; however, not much is known about their approaches to retirement saving and wealth accumulation. This thesis aims to assess these approaches; it first focuses on the younger generation’s current economic autonomy in retirement saving and further expands it to investigate young adults’ wealth accumulation patterns. The thesis consists of four studies. The first study examines the role of human agency in retirement saving using structural equation modelling, and argues that individuals’ economic autonomy is closely linked to their socio-economic arrangements. The second study further investigates gender differences in retirement saving decision-making process using SEM multi-group analysis, and documents the negative impact of the male-breadwinner income model on women’s financial resilience. The third study examines the role of financial support from family in young adults’ homeownership in discrete-time event history analysis. The results point to a substantial amount of both direct help (money) and indirect assistance (co-residence). The last study assesses wealth accumulation patterns by establishing four saver types using factor mixture modelling. Transition between the saver types over time is analysed using latent transition analysis. The results show that, while the transitions between saver types over time are mostly stable, more upwards movement is observed for individuals from a higher socio-economic background. This thesis provides evidence on how young adult’s ability to manage uncertainty and organise their lives is influenced by socio-economic arrangements. In particular, it documents the increasing role of family background and the effects of systematic (dis)advantage among young adults. These findings point to a need for coordination of a wide range of policies that alleviate economic insecurity in the short- and mid-term in order for the younger generation to plan for the long-term future with autonomy.
... Derek Parfit [1984].) These papers find that, compared to people who anticipate small amounts of personal change, those who experience or perceive large amounts of personal change prefer to consume sooner, spend rather than save, and generally discount future outcomes more when intertemporal tradeoffs are highlighted (Bartels & Rips, 2010;Bartels & Urminsky 2011;2015;Ersner-Hershfield et al., 2009;Hershfield, 2011). ...
Article
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People often make tradeoffs between current and future benefits. Some research frameworks suggest that people treat the future self as if it were another person, subordinating future needs to current ones just as they might subordinate others' needs to their own. Although people make similar choices for future selves and others in some contexts, it remains unclear whether these behaviors are governed by the same decision policies. So, we identify and compare the unique influence of four relevant factors (need, deservingness, liking, and similarity) on monetary decisions in both the interpersonal and intrapersonal domains. Do people treat the future self and others similarly? Yes and no. Yes, because the influence of these factors on allocations is similar for both types of targets. No, because monetary allocations to the future self are consistently higher than allocations to others. Although the future self is treated like others in some ways, important differences remain that are not fully captured by this analogy.
... It falls to each institution of higher education that admits indigenous students, such as the Beca 18 scholarship students in Peru, to narrow the aspiration-attainment gap. Scholarly literature reveals that one of the best ways to narrow this gap is to create a learning environment that fosters a sense of belonging (e.g., a present self that "fits in") (Booker, 2007;Faircloth & Hamm, 2005;Martin, 2009;Osterman, 2000; as well as a possible self (future identity) (e.g., Hershfield, 2011;Landau, Oyserman, Keefer, & Smith, 2014). ...
Article
This paper analyzes challenges indigenous Peruvian college students face in completing their studies, based on field research that included interviews with Peruvian higher education leaders, administrators, researchers, and faculty, and a review of published research. Since 2012, the government of Peru has sponsored Beca 18, a comprehensive scholarship designed to attract and support students from underrepresented populations, namely impoverished and largely indigenous communities. While the program has provided opportunities to thousands of students from all provinces, the struggles they have mirror those of other indigenous students around the world, including discrimination, unpreparedness, and attrition. The analysis pinpoints areas in which lessons from international scholarship and success strategies with other indigenous populations may enhance the success of the Beca 18 scholarship program and the experiences of its students. It discusses the critical role higher education institutions play in developing future leaders through future identity formation.
... Additionally, it will be helpful for future research to examine other dimensions of future self-coherence. For instance, a growing body of literature has found that greater future self-continuity, the extent to which you believe your current self overlaps with your future self, is associated with reduced impulsivity and positive health outcomes (Hershfield, 2011). To our knowledge, no studies have looked at whether this aspect of self may be altered in PTSD and how it might be related to the specificity of characteristics of MTT. ...
... The idea of future success can sometimes increase people's motivation to achieve it. In particular, when an image of the future has common features with the present, when it is bright, realistic and positive, a person is inclined to make decisions that will have positive consequences for him/her in the distant future (Hershfield, 2011). ...
Article
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p>The article presents the results of research on images of own future for mothers having children without health problems and with disabilities. The studied time perspective and content of adults’ images show that both groups are future oriented. The differences in the psychological characteristics and time perception of the mothers having children without health problems and with disabilities are the following: the mothers having children with disabilities are more negatively perceive the past and estimate higher the present (both hedonistic and fatalistic); mothers having children without health problems percept the past more positively. The content of images of the future presented by the mothers having children with disabilities is characterized by emphasis on the health of their children and family, on their desire to be more “stronger”, to have more full-fledged life. There is the statistically significant difference between the groups concerning time perception, namely, the mothers having children with disabilities perceive the past negatively and the present (hedonistic and fatalistic) more positively; the mother having children without health problems have a higher level of awareness of life, higher indicators of locus of control, but lower self-actualization, lower personal anxiety; whereas the mothers having children with disabilities have higher self-actualization (especially for synergy and human nature), higher anxiety (both reactive and personal). The peculiarities of time perception are determined by the psychological characteristics of mothers (their awareness of life and its components, self-actualization and its components), which is reflected in multiple correlations.</p
... Moreover, sexual side-effects may be under-recognized, and under-reported because of difficulties in approaching the problem both by the patient and the clinician 5 . Hypertension itself can also cause sexual dysfunction in the long-term which might be seen by patients as a far away, unlikely future; however, the treatment side-effects occur and are felt in the present, leading to poor treatment adherence and discontinuation -a "so-called" present-self vs. future-self conflict 6 . ...
Article
Background: Pharmacologic anti-hypertensive (HT) treatment reduces cardiovascular risk. However, many patients are non-adherent due to perceived or real concern about sexual-related side-effects. Objectives: In a subset of the SPRINT (a randomized trial of intensive versus standard blood-pressure control) trial, we sought to investigate the impact of anti-HT treatment on sexual activities of men and women over time, and whether this impact varied with a more or less intensive anti-HT therapy. Methods: Random-effects models for panel/longitudinal data. Results: Among the 1268 men and 613 women included in this sub-study, 862 (68%) men and 178 (29%) women declared to be engaged in sexual activity of any kind. Compared with women and men not engaged in sexual activity, those engaged were younger (64 vs. 69yr for women and 65 vs. 75yr for men). Women had an overall low satisfaction with their sexual life but their sexual health was not affected by anti-HT therapy over time nor modified by an intensive treatment. Men's erections were slightly deteriorated over time (-0.1 to -0.2 points on a scale of 1 (worse) to 5 (best); p<0.05), but were not aggravated by intensive anti-HT therapy (p>0.05 for all). Conclusions: Self-declared women`s sexual health was not affected by an intensive anti-HT therapy. Men, reported a slight deterioration in the quality of their erections, irrespective of standard or intensive therapy. These findings may help reassuring patients about the sexual safety of intensive anti-HT therapy, therefore, potentially improving adherence to intensive therapy strategy.
... This refers to the over-weighting of present costs and benefits, and the under-weighing of future ones in a time-inconsistent fashion (Loewenstein and Prelec, 1992), leading to sub-optimal choices in the long-run. In the energy domain, such myopic behavior results in the undervaluing of future benefits associated with adopting energy efficient behaviours (Hershfield, 2011). Overall, the literature gives us ample reason to believe that the specific vulnerable conditions that social housing tenants are exposed to will cognitively impact them, leading to the adoption of sub-optimal energy behaviors. ...
Article
Behavioral Economics has in recent years played a key role in informing the design of non-price interventions aimed at promoting energy conservation behaviors in residential areas. Some of the most influential contributions of the discipline in an applied setting have centered around the development of norm-based interventions. The success that these interventions have had in specific contexts presents an opportunity to utilize them as tools for tackling a prevalent type of poverty at the EU level: energy poverty. Recent contributions to the literature highlight the role of inefficient energy behavior as a significant driver of this particular type of poverty, which is characterised by an inability to afford the basic energy services necessary to guarantee a decent standard of living. Therefore, the effectiveness of norm-based interventions in vulnerable populations merits further investigation to determine whether this approach can suitably address the behavioral components of energy poverty by promoting efficient energy consumption and conservation efforts. This is particularly imperative when combined with retrofitting innovations, as it can help avoid negative behavioral responses often associated with the implementation of efficiency upgrades, such as rebound effects. This study reports on a pilot conducted in an exemplary social housing context (located in Bolzano, Italy) with the aim to assess the effectiveness of social comparison interventions in energy vulnerable groups. Using a design that combines appeals to injunctive and descriptive norms embedded within In-Home Devices (IHD) in recently retrofitted homes, our objective is to set a basis for the assessment of effectiveness of these types of interventions in social housing populations. Our study seeks to provide useful methodological insights to policy makers on how to effectively design behaviourally informed interventions aimed at tackling energy poverty.
... Tudi s psihološkega vidika obstajajo nekateri pomisleki (kot naprimer pomislek, da se bodo dolgoživi ljudje dolgočasili ali pa da se bodo še bolj bali smrti) kot tudi zanimive teorije, ki skušajo pojasniti, zakaj je dandanes tako malo zanimanja za tovrsten razvoj. Ena teh teorij (Hershfield 2011) trdi, da sebe v prihodnosti čustveno dojemamo kot tujce, kot druge ljudi. Ko so se na primer ljudje v eksperimentu videli računalniško postarane, so bolj začeli skrbeti za dobrobit svojega prihodnjega jaza -bolj kot preden so se sebe v prihodnosti živo zavedali (Van Gelder in dr. ...
Conference Paper
Spletne zdravstvene skupnosti (SZS) so danes za posameznike postale ene izmed ključnih virov za pridobitev z zdravjem povezanih informacij, socialne opore, izmenjave izkušenj in nasvetov s strani drugih uporabnikov SZS ter tudi zdravnikov. Študije so pokazale, da različni socio-psihološki procesi v SZS vodijo k individualnemu opolnomočenju uporabnikov (pacientov). Čeprav so študije že identificirale socio-psihološke in participatorne dejavnike, ki vodijo k individualnemu opolnomočenju uporabnikov SZS, pa se je v dosedanjih raziskavah pogosto zanemarila vloga sredstev ali različnih oblik kapitala, ki so lahko spodbujevalci ali zaviralci pri doseganju opolnomočenja uporabnikov SZS. Namen prispevka je na podlagi podatkov, zbranih s spletno anketo med uporabniki največje SZS v Sloveniji, Med.Over.Net, pokazati, na kakšne načine različne oblike participacije, skupaj z e-zdravstveno pismenostjo, socialnimi in ekonomskim kapitalom, vplivajo na razvoj individualnega opolnomočenja uporabnikov SZS.
... This refers to the over-weighting of present costs and benefits, and the under-weighing of future ones in a time-inconsistent fashion (Loewenstein and Prelec, 1992), leading to sub-optimal choices in the long-run. In the energy domain, such myopic behavior results in the undervaluing of future benefits associated with adopting energy efficient behaviors (Hershfield, 2011). Overall, the literature gives us ample reason to believe that the specific vulnerable conditions that social housing tenants are exposed to will cognitively impact them, leading to the adoption of sub-optimal energy behaviors. ...
Article
Full-text available
Behavioral Economics has in recent years played a key role in informing the design of non-price interventions aimed at promoting energy conservation behaviors in residential areas. Some of the most influential contributions of the discipline in an applied setting have centered around the development of norm-based interventions. The success that these interventions have had in specific contexts presents an opportunity to utilize them as tools for tackling a prevalent type of poverty at the EU level: energy poverty. Recent contributions to the literature highlight the role of inefficient energy behavior as a significant driver of this particular type of poverty, which is characterised by an inability to afford the basic energy services necessary to guarantee a decent standard of living. Therefore, the effectiveness of norm-based interventions in vulnerable populations merits further investigation to determine whether this approach can suitably address the behavioral components of energy poverty by promoting efficient energy consumption and conservation efforts. This is particularly imperative when combined with retrofitting innovations, as it can help avoid negative behavioral responses often associated with the implementation of efficiency upgrades, such as rebound effects. This study reports on a pilot conducted in an exemplary social housing context (located in Bolzano, Italy) with the aim to assess the effectiveness of social comparison interventions in energy vulnerable groups. Using a design that combines appeals to injunctive and descriptive norms embedded within In-Home Devices (IHD) in recently retrofitted homes, our objective is to set a basis for the assessment of effectiveness of these types of interventions in social housing populations. Our study seeks to provide useful methodological insights to policy makers on how to effectively design behaviorally informed interventions aimed at tackling energy poverty.
... The current investigation focused on emotion regulation as one core aspect of self-regulation (Williams et al., 2018), a construct that could potentially affect decision-making (Hershfield, 2011) and well-being in dementia. Indeed, research has already demonstrated that decision-making can potentially improve the well-being of persons with dementia. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Objectives Emotion is integral to decision-making, and emotion regulation is associated with improved well-being in older age. Persons with dementia are likely to experience impairments in emotion regulation processes that can potentially contribute to differential decision-making and well-being outcomes. To promote the development of theoretical models of well-being in dementia, we review the quantitative evidence concerning the associations between emotion regulation and decision-making in dementia. Methods Scoping review. Results Seven studies of persons with dementia met our criteria. In persons with frontotemporal lobar degeneration, emotion regulation processes that precede the emotional experience were associated with decision-making in a moral (but not uncertainty) context. Independent of type of dementia, evidence concerning the associations between emotion regulation processes that occur after emotion is experienced and decision-making was mixed and drew on different methodologies. No studies relating to the associations between decision-making in dementia and several emotion regulation processes and strategies were found. Conclusions In this review, we sought to clarify the concept of everyday decision-making in dementia and map the current state of evidence concerning its associations with emotion regulation. Our findings show that emotion regulation processes are associated with decision-making in dementia, depending on type of decision-making assessment and emotional experience. We outline the gaps in the literature to set a research agenda for promoting our understanding of how emotion regulation processes can shape the various decisions that are made by persons with dementia on a daily basis.
... The avatar characteristics were not matched to visual cues of the participants' appearance, which might have resulted in variations in immersion intensity. This might be a future technical step toward advancing our approach, similar to the technique used by Hershfield (2011). His research shows that an individualized avatar can provide stronger identification with the aged self-representation, leading to powerful effects. ...
Article
Objectives: Socio-emotional selectivity theory implies that an individual's motives change over their lifespan, starting with a focus on information seeking and shifting toward the motivation of maintaining emotionally meaningful social relationships in old age. The concept of future time perspective serves as an underlying mechanism for this phenomenon. Methods: This study aimed to capture how social motivation changes as a result of the manipulation of one's own visual appearance. Thus, the explicit age stereotypes of N = 74 participants were assessed, among other covariates. The following intervention consisted of a virtual reality (VR) scenario in which the experimental group embodied an old age avatar and the control group a young age avatar. Results: Changes in social motivation were assessed using the concept of socio-emotional selectivity based on imagined situational preferences. Results with strong effect sizes indicate that changes in social motivation commonly connected with old age might be caused by visual cues when actively embodying a virtual avatar.
... Citizens were asked to carry out temporally close behavioral changes regarding COVID-19, ones that are imminently within reach of the present self-concept; whereas for climate change, citizens are essentially asked to plan for and conceive of an uncertain future self-concept that is not clear for many people or may even be rejected because it hurts short-term interests (Pittis, 2020). This body of research finds that the human brain is hard-wired for short-term thinking, presenting difficulties for planning on long timelines; this could help explain the effective response to the pandemic to date, as well as the reluctance to work on the longer timelines of climate change (Hershfield, 2011). COVID-19 is also a conceptually simple problemalthough a 'novel' virus, it can be contained by wellknown, accessible strategies of face masks, social distancing, contact tracing, and, hopefully, immunization (Wiersinga et al., 2020) quite unlike the 'wicked' problem that is climate change (Trembath & Wang, 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
Non-technical summary The COVID-19 pandemic can be considered an experiment forced upon the world community and, as such, responses to the pandemic can provide lessons about socio-ecological systems as well as processes of transformative change. What enabled responses to COVID-19 to be as effective as they were, right at a time when climate action is notably lagging behind what intergovernmental panels have called for? This paper examines key differences in the COVID-19 response compared to that of climate change, examining the ‘deeper’ human dimensions of these global issues. Unearthing insights into the responses to both issues provides important lessons for climate change engagement.
... But, by perceiving the future as more distant, people may inadvertently also produce an effect on motivation. People are more motivated to pursue more imminent goals; further distant goals give license to procrastinate (Hershfield, 2011). Peetz et al. (2009) found that people who saw an exam as subjectively distant indeed did worse on that exam, even controlling for original expectations. ...
Chapter
People evaluate themselves against a variety of standards. In addition to measuring themselves against relevant others (social comparisons), individuals often appraise their current selves by looking to their former and future selves (temporal comparisons). This chapter first considers temporal comparison in relation to social comparison and then describes processes of temporal self-appraisal in more detail. The authors first consider the relative frequency and impact of temporal comparison relative to social comparison and describe how comparison preference and impact depends on method, context, and self-appraisal goals. Both comparison types are meaningful, and people show considerable fluidity in their use of these self-appraisal standards. Next, the authors describe temporal self-appraisal theory, which unpacks the nuanced mechanisms underlying active selection and construction of temporal comparisons, drawing parallels to similar social comparative processes.
Article
Increasing psychological distance is an established method for improving children's performance in a number of self-regulation tasks. For example, using a delay of gratification (DoG) task, Prencipe and Zelazo (Psychological Science, 2005, Vol. 16, pp. 501-505) showed that 3-year-olds delay more for "other" than they do for "self," whereas 4-year-olds make similar choices for self and other. However, to our knowledge, no work has manipulated language to increase psychological distance in children. In two experiments, we sought to manipulate psychological distance by replicating Prencipe and Zelazo's age-related findings and extending them to older children (Experiment 1) and also sought to manipulate psychological distance using the auxiliary verbs "want" and "should" to prime more impulsive preference-based decisions or more normative optimal decisions (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, 96 3- to 7-year-olds showed age-related improvements and interactive effects between age and perspective on DoG performance. In Experiment 2, 132 3- to 7-year-olds showed age-related improvements and a marginal interaction between age and perspective on DoG performance, but no effect of auxiliary verbs was detected. Results are discussed in terms of differing developmental trajectories of DoG for self and other due to psychological distancing, and how taking another's perspective may boost DoG in younger children but not older children.
Article
Based on the selective exposure self- and affect-management (SESAM) model and social comparison theory, a 2 × 2 between-subject experiment was conducted in which participants were primed to think about their future or current self (temporal self-manipulation) and to experience positive or negative affect (valence of affect manipulation). Participants then engaged in a selective exposure task to either upward or downward comparison targets, after which their self-evaluation, affect, and possible future self were measured. The results showed that priming future self-led to more selective exposure time to upward comparison targets, but priming positive affect did not. Upward comparison time in turn induced more positive self-evaluation, affect, and possible future self. Implications for research in selective exposure, media effects, and communication interventions are discussed.
Article
Delay discounting (DD) is the phenomenon of individuals discounting future rewards as a function of time. It has been studied extensively in chronic schizophrenia (SZ) and the results of these studies have been variable. Comorbidity in chronic samples could be one reason for the mixed findings and studies in first-episode (FE) samples are surprisingly lacking. Bipolar disorder (BP) which shares some genetic and symptom features with SZ could serve as an interesting comparison group for DD but has been underexplored. Here we present the first study that combines FE SZ, FE BP with psychotic features, as well as healthy controls and study DD with two versions of the task. We found that SZ showed steeper discounting than HC and BP on the well-validated Kirby DD task. SZ showed no difference than HC on a separate DD task with smaller rewards presented with decimal places and shorter delays. As a preliminary finding, DD was found to be positively related to positive symptoms in FE SZ, while no relationship was found between negative symptoms and DD. In addition, we found comparable DD in BP compared to HC. Ultimately, our data may help elucidate the psychopathology in SZ and BP during intertemporal decision making.
Article
Art therapy plays important role in classical psychological assessment as it allows expressing the subject's sense of self. However, its effectiveness and validity could be impeded by lack of relationship to the patients' neuronal changes in their brain. The aim of our theoretical-empirical paper is to propose a novel brain-based quantitative objective measurement of the self and how it shapes the drawing process. We discuss recent data that how the autocorrelation window (ACW) is related to the temporal continuity of self in current neuroscience and further develop a method to use ACW to measure the temporal continuity of the drawing process, probing it in two case studies. As expected, the schizophrenic subject shows lower ACW values compared to the healthy subject and reflects the well-known deficit in the temporal continuity of the self in schizophrenia. We concluded that ACW and eventually other measures of the brain's spatiotemporal structure might be able to serve as objective markers of the self in the drawing process. As our approach connects brain, self, and drawing process, it provides the theoretical basis for the future development of a brain-based assessment of the self in the drawing process and art therapy.
Preprint
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Although it is well-known that people feel disconnected from their past and future selves, the underlying mechanism supporting this phenomenon is unknown. To help fill this gap, we considered a basic principle of perception. As objects increase in distance from an observer, they also become logarithmically compressed in perception (i.e., not differentiated from one another), making them hard to distinguish. Here, we report four studies that suggest we may feel disconnected from distant selves, in part, because they are increasingly indiscriminable with temporal distance from the present self. In Studies 1-3, participants made trait ratings across various time points in the past and future. We found that participants compressed their past and future selves, relative to their present self. This effect was preferential to the self and could not be explained by the alternative possibility that individuals simply perceive arbitrary self-change with time irrespective of temporal distance. In Study 4, we tested for neural evidence of temporal self-compression by having participants complete trait ratings across time points while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Representational similarity analysis (RSA) was used to determine if neural self-representations are compressed with temporal distance, as well. We found evidence of temporal self-compression in areas of the default network, including medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Specifically, neural pattern similarity between self-representations was logarithmically compressed with temporal distance. Taken together, these findings reveal a “temporal self-compression” effect, with temporal selves becoming increasingly indiscriminable with distance from the present. Significance Statement For centuries, great thinkers have struggled to understand why we feel disconnected from our past and future selves. Insight may come from a basic principle of perception: as objects become distant, they also become less discriminable, or ‘compressed.’ In Studies 1-3, we demonstrate that people’s ratings of their own personality become increasingly less differentiated as they consider more distant past and future selves. In Study 4, we found neural evidence that the brain compresses self-representations with time, as well. When we peer out a window, objects close to us are in clear view whereas distant objects are hard to tell apart. We provide novel evidence that self-perception may operate similarly, with the nuance of distant selves increasingly harder to perceive.
Article
It is time to imagine a fresh take on midlife in the lifespan. This conceptual article calls for therapists to participate in co-constructing a stage of adult life with new and varied stories, roles and purpose. It proposes a therapy that is future-focused, creative and generative. Finally, this article suggests that drama therapists are the practitioners best suited for the broadening and deepening of the human experience as we age.
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Despite robust literature on people’s attitudes toward aging, far less is known about attitudes toward one’s own aging, especially among college students. We examined college students’ self-perceptions of the challenges of aging using essays from a “When I’m 75” assignment implemented at the beginning and end of the semester in an introductory gerontology course. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyze 24 students’ perceptions of their own aging at age 75. The superordinate theme, challenges of aging, was identified along with five subordinate themes: deterioration, age-related impairments, mental health, loneliness and loss, and experiencing ageism. Findings suggest that after completing the course, students both demonstrated an understanding of realistic age-related changes and had (contradictory) stereotypical ideas of what it would be like to be 75. Findings have implications for research that continues to evaluate self-perceptions and contributes to the development of pedagogical strategies and tools that promote students’ optimal aging.
Thesis
À l’heure où les trajectoires professionnelles se font de plus en plus changeantes et imprévisibles, la motivation des individus à s’engager dans des démarches d’orientation et d’insertion professionnelles est de plus en plus cruciale pour la réussite des nombreuses transitions qui jalonnent les carrières. Toutefois, jusqu’alors, la question de la motivation avait reçu peu d’intérêt de la part des chercheurs en orientation, ce qui laissait les psychologues conseiller·ère·s en orientation singulièrement démuni·e·s face à des consultant·e·s ne présentant pas ou peu de motivation. Depuis quelques années, la méthode de l’entretien motivationnel (Miller & Rollnick, 1991, 2006, 2013) a ainsi commencé à recevoir une attention croissante dans le domaine de l’orientation. L’objectif de cette thèse est alors d’étudier dans quelle mesure et avec quelle efficacité il est possible d’avoir recours à cette méthode en appui aux prestations d’orientation scolaire et professionnelle. À cette fin, trois angles d’approche ont été favorisés. D’une part, au travers d’une réflexion théorique, la pertinence du recours à l’entretien motivationnel pour accroitre la motivation des consultant·e·s et les accompagner dans un processus de modération des aspirations est étudié. D’autre part, l’effet d’une formation à l’entretien motivationnel sur les comportements de psychologues conseiller·ère·s en orientation et sur le discours de leurs consultant·e·s est évalué de manière empirique, au moyen d’un dispositif quasi-expérimental. Enfin, l’efficacité clinique de cette approche pour produire un changement réel dans la vie des individus est investiguée au moyen d’une étude de cas. Le produit de ces réflexions est présenté sous la forme de cinq articles. Une introduction générale inscrit ces articles dans le cadre théorique de la living system theory of vocational behavior and development (Vondracek, Ford & Porfeli, 2015) et une discussion finale souligne les apports et limites de l’adoption d’une approche intégrative en orientation.
Preprint
Time perspective is a constituent of development across the lifespan. It reflects an individual's sense of passing time, of change, and of stability within his or her course of life. Time perspective can be defined as a complex multidimensional construct which comprises an individual's cognitions related to the extension, valence, and pace of past, present and future time. It is cognitively represented in the mind as a subjective construal or as a mindset that can differ from objective aspects of time perspective, especially as it extends into an unknown and undefined future.
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Purpose To portray the valuation of financial investments as mental time travel. Design/methodology/approach In a series of thought investments, $1 invested in an investment fund is mentally projected forward in time and then discounted back to the present – with no objective time passing. The thought investments feature symmetric valuation (in which discount rates exactly match projection rates) and asymmetric valuation (in which discount rates and projection rates happen to differ). They show how asymmetric valuation can result in differences between the current personal value and market value of an investment and, by way of real-world illustration, between a closed-end investment fund’s net asset value and its market value. We explore possible reasons for asymmetric valuation. Findings Thought investments illustrating mental time travel can be used to help understand both financial investment valuation generally and, more specifically, established explanations of the closed-end investment fund puzzle. We show how different expectations, different perceptions of time and risk and different risk and time preferences might help determine value. Originality There are vast literatures on prospection, discounting and future-orientated or intertemporal decision-making. Our innovation is to illustrate how these mental activities might combine to facilitate financial investment valuation. In particular, we show that a low personal discount rate could be a consequence of a shortened perception of future time and vice versa.
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A great number of social and environmental issues our society is facing today (e.g., climate change) necessitate action in the present in order to benefit future others. Perceptions of responsibility towards future generations have been shown to increase intergenerational prosociality and combat intertemporal discounting. However, the degree to which these findings are generalizable across samples and valid in the context of environmental issues remains unknown. We utilized data obtained from the Public Religion Research Institute to examine the association of perceived responsibility towards future generations with proenvironmental attitudes in a large and representative sample of the US population. Across a wide variety of proenvironmental outcomes and controlling for key demographic covariates (e.g., political ideology, religiosity), our results suggest that perceived responsibility towards future generations has a robust relationship with proenvironmental attitudes. Increasing and leveraging perceptions of responsibility towards future others may be a powerful tool for promoting intergenerational environmental concern and action.
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People generally care about their future. However, how vividly they imagine it, and how much they like and value it, may vary across socioeconomic status (SES). If lower-SES individuals believe their future to resemble their present, including the greater uncertainties and stressors of a lower-SES environment, then they may focus less on their future self, coming to view it less vividly, as less likable, and less valuable, amongst other qualities. We found support for these hypotheses across pilot data, two observational studies (one pre-registered), and a pre-registered experimental manipulation of SES. These results add to the growing literature on SES’s psychological consequences by suggesting that SES affects people’s conceptions of not only their present self, but also their future self.
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Background Pharmacologic anti-hypertensive (HT) treatment reduces cardiovascular risk. However, many patients are non-adherent due to perceived or real concern about sexual-related side-effects. Objectives In a subset of the SPRINT (a randomized trial of intensive versus standard blood-pressure control) trial, we sought to investigate the impact of anti-HT treatment on sexual activities of men and women over time, and whether this impact varied with a more or less intensive anti-HT therapy. Methods Random-effects models for panel/longitudinal data. Results Among the 1268 men and 613 women included in this sub-study, 862 (68%) men and 178 (29%) women declared to be engaged in sexual activity of any kind. Compared with women and men not engaged in sexual activity, those engaged were younger (64 vs. 69yr for women and 65 vs. 75yr for men). Women had an overall low satisfaction with their sexual life but their sexual health was not affected by anti-HT therapy over time nor modified by an intensive treatment. Men’s erections were slightly deteriorated over time (-0.1 to -0.2 points on a scale of 1 (worse) to 5 (best); p<0.05), but were not aggravated by intensive anti-HT therapy (p>0.05 for all). Conclusions Self-declared women`s sexual health was not affected by an intensive anti-HT therapy. Men, reported a slight deterioration in the quality of their erections, irrespective of standard or intensive therapy. These findings may help reassuring patients about the sexual safety of intensive anti-HT therapy, therefore, potentially improving adherence to intensive therapy strategy.
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From dating profiles and social media accounts to online streaming services, consumers are often asked to express who they are by constructing an assortment. Apple Music, for example, asks new users to indicate “two or more” of their favorite types of music when they create an account. But while consumers might create such self-expressive assortments to communicate who they are, could the composition of these assortments also affect how people see themselves? Seven studies demonstrate that perceiving greater variety in a self-expressive assortment undermines self-continuity. This occurs because variety leads consumers to infer that their preferences are less stable, thereby decreasing the belief that their identity stays the same over time. Variety’s effect generalizes across multiple domains of self-expression (e.g., books, music, television) and has downstream consequences for service evaluation and even unrelated decision-making (e.g., intertemporal tradeoffs). The findings advance understanding of how choice shapes identity, the role of variety in consumers’ lives, and factors that affect self-continuity. The results also have implications for the marketers who encourage (and the consumers who construct) self-expressive assortments.
Chapter
Although thinkers in political science and philosophy such as Thomas Hobbes, John Stuart Mill and Robert Nozick argued that an understanding of “free will” is crucial in considering problems related to democracy and other political institutions, recent advances in the scientific exploration of free will (often associated with rationality and consciousness) in neurobiology, neuroeconomics, and quantum decision theory have largely been ignored in political science. This is also true in recently-developed bio-psychologically-inspired approaches in political science (e.g., political psychology based on evolutionary psychology). In this conceptual review article, we first introduce current findings on the science of free will and then discuss potential implications of these findings for future research in political science. The importance of investigations into future-oriented judgment and decision making (e.g., intertemporal choice) is emphasized.
Chapter
Nicotine dependence continues to be one of the major contributors to the global disease burden, despite the wide variety of assessment and treatment techniques developed. Although VR has been used as an instrument to improve cue-exposure therapy techniques, the full extent of its power in the treatment of addictions has not been fully explored. In this paper, we utilize body-swapping, a VR specific paradigm, in order to facilitate a dialogue between the present self and the future self of the smoker about nicotine dependence. The experiment will compare the difference in Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence, Stages of Change, Future-Self Continuity Scale and Perceived Risks and Benefits Questionnaire scores before and after the dialogue between three groups, each named based on who the participant is talking with: Present Self, Future Self Smoking Cessation, and Future Self Still Smoking. We expect this new approach to lower nicotine dependence and lead to long-term healthy behaviour choices as well as pave the way for novel VR-treatment techniques.
Chapter
Just after the turn of the century, when the “leading edge” of the baby boomers approached the age of 65, there was an increase in the public attention devoted to the work and retirement intentions of older adults. Some experts voiced worries about the economic fragility of older Americans who might struggle to support their households with the conventional “three-legged stool” set of strategies (i.e., savings/investments, Social Security, and private pensions). In response, researchers began to take a serious look at the options and benefits associated with voluntary extension of the labor force participation of older adults. While the arguments for working longer are multi-faceted, there is wide recognition that older adults who are able to work past the normative retirement age (62–65 years) can benefit from the financial benefits offered by employment (both income and possible access to continued employer-sponsored benefits). In this chapter, we present an argument with supporting evidence that job quality affects older adults’ intentions with regard to their transitions into retirement. We found that, compared to employees who report that they intend to stay with their current employer “until they retire,” there are negative relationships between satisfaction with meaningful work as well as with compensation and the intent to leave before they retire (in the next 5 years).
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Many people fail to save what they need to for retirement (Munnell, Webb, and Golub-Sass 2009). Research on excessive discounting of the future suggests that removing the lure of immediate rewards by pre-committing to decisions, or elaborating the value of future rewards can both make decisions more future-oriented. In this article, we explore a third and complementary route, one that deals not with present and future rewards, but with present and future selves. In line with thinkers who have suggested that people may fail, through a lack of belief or imagination, to identify with their future selves (Parfit 1971; Schelling 1984), we propose that allowing people to interact with age-progressed renderings of themselves will cause them to allocate more resources toward the future. In four studies, participants interacted with realistic computer renderings of their future selves using immersive virtual reality hardware and interactive decision aids. In all cases, those who interacted with virtual future selves exhibited an increased tendency to accept later monetary rewards over immediate ones.
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We provide a new model of consumption-saving decisions which explicitly allows for internal commitment mechanisms and self-control. Agents have the ability to invoke either automatic processes that are susceptible to the temptation of 'over- consuming,' or alternative control processes which require internal commitment but are immune to such temptations. Standard models in behavioral economics ignore such internal commitment mechanisms. We justify our model by showing that much of its construction is consistent with dynamic choice and cognitive control as they are understood in cognitive neuroscience. The dynamic consumption-saving behavior of an agent in the model is charac- terized by a simple consumption-saving goal, a propensity to consume out of wealth which is independent of any realized temptation, and a cut-o rule for invoking control processes to inhibit automatic processes and implement the consumption- saving goal. We compare the behavior induced by our model with that induced by standard behavioral models where agents have no internal commitment ability. We discuss empirical tests of our model with available individual consumption data and we suggest critical tests with brain-imaging and experimental data.
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In this study, 208 young adults completed questionnaires measuring their perceptions of and responses to their favorite fictional television characters, both male and female. Measures included perceived attitude similarity, perceived character attributes (smart, successful, attractive, funny, violent, admired), and wishful identification with the characters. Wishful identification was defined as the desire to be like or act like the character. Respondents reported greater wishful identification with same-gender characters and with characters who seemed more similar in attitudes. Both men and women identified more strongly with successful and admired characters of the other gender, but they differed in the attributes that predicted their wishful identification with same-gender characters. Men identified with male characters whom they perceived as successful, intelligent, and violent, whereas women identified with female characters whom they perceived as successful, intelligent, attractive, and admired. Humor was the only attribute that was not related to wishful identification. Interpretations of the findings, and implications for understanding the social impact of television, are discussed.
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The authors present and test a theory of temporal self-appraisal. According to the theory, people can maintain their typically favorable self-regard by disparaging their distant and complimenting their recent past selves. This pattern of appraisals should be stronger for more important attributes because of their greater impact on self-regard and stronger for self-ratings than for ratings of other people. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that participants are more critical of distant past selves than of current selves, and Study 3 showed that this effect is obtained even when concurrent evaluations indicate no actual improvement. Studies 4 and 5 revealed that people perceived greater improvement for self than for acquaintances and siblings over the same time period. Study 6 provided support for the predicted effects of temporal distance and attribute importance on people's evaluation of past selves.
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The 4% rule is the advice many retirees follow for managing spending and investing. We examine this rule’s inefficiencies—the price paid for funding its unspent surpluses and the overpayments made to purchase its spending policy. We show that a typical rule allocates 10–20% of a retiree’s initial wealth to surpluses and an additional 2–4% to overpayments. Further, we argue that even if retirees were to recoup these costs, the 4% rule’s spending plan remains wasteful, since many retirees actually prefer a different, cheaper spending plan.
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We show that Gul and Pesendorfer’s [Econometrica 69 (2001) 1403] representation result for preferences with temptation and self-control can be reexpressed in terms of a costly intrapersonal conflict between a Planner and Doer, as in Thaler and Shefrin [J. Political Econ. 89 (1981) 392] and psychologists’ standard view of self-control problems.
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Based on Fredrickson's ((199824. Fredrickson , BL . 1998. What good are positive emotions?. Review of General Psychology, 2: 300–319. [CrossRef], [PubMed]View all references). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 300–319.; (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218–226) broaden-and-build theory and Aron and Aron's ((19861. Aron , A and Aron , EN . 1986. Love as expansion of the self: Understanding attraction and satisfaction, New York: Hemisphere. View all references). Love as expansion of the self: Understanding attraction and satisfaction. New York: Hemisphere) self-expansion theory, it was hypothesized that positive emotions broaden people's feelings of self–other overlap in the beginning of a new relationship. In a prospective study of first-year college students, we found that, after 1 week in college, positive emotions predicted increased self–other overlap with new roommates, which in turn predicted a more complex understanding of the roommate. In addition, participants who experienced a high ratio of positive to negative emotions throughout the first month of college reported a greater increase in self–other overlap and complex understanding than participants with a low positivity ratio. Implications for the role of positive emotions in the formation of new relationships are discussed. At such moments, you realize that you and the other are, in fact, one. It's a big realization. Survival is the second law of life. The first is that we are all one. Joseph Campbell
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This paper presents key findings from the 21st annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), a survey that gauges the views and attitudes of working-age and retired Americans regarding retirement, their preparations for retirement, their confidence with regard to various aspects of retirement, and related issues. The percentage of workers not at all confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement grew from 22 percent in 2010 to 27 percent, the highest level measured in the 21 years of the RCS. At the same time, the percentage very confident shrank to the low of 13 percent that was first measured in 2009. The increase in the percentage of workers not at all confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement appears to be largely due to a loss of confidence among those who have less than $100,000 in savings. This percentage increased sharply among those with savings less than $25,000 (up from 19 percent in 2007 to 43 percent in 2011) and between $25,000-$99,999 (up from 7 percent in 2007 to 22 percent in 2011). Retiree confidence in having a financially secure retirement is stable, with 17 percent saying they are not at all confident and 24 percent very confident (statistically equivalent to 2010 levels). Sixty-eight percent of workers report they and/or their spouse have saved for retirement (down from 75 percent in 2009, but statistically equivalent to the 2010 level). Fifty-nine percent say they and/or their spouse are currently saving (down from 65 percent in 2009, but statistically equivalent to earlier years). A sizable percentage of workers report they have virtually no savings or investments. Among RCS workers providing this type of information, 29 percent say they have less than $1,000. In total, more than half of workers (56 percent) report that the total value of their household’s savings and investments, excluding the value of their primary home and any defined benefit plans, is less than $25,000. Many workers continue to be unaware of how much they need to save for retirement. Only 42 percent report they and/or their spouse have tried to calculate how much money they will need to have saved by the time they retire so that they can live comfortably in retirement. The age at which workers expect to retire continues its slow, upward trend. In particular, the percentage of workers who expect to retire after age 65 has increased over time, from 11 percent in 1991 and 1996 to 20 percent in 2001, 25 percent in 2006, and 36 percent in 2011. The 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey was conducted in January 2011 through 20-minute telephone interviews with 1,258 individuals (1,004 workers and 254 retirees) age 25 and older in the United States. The RCS was co-sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, and Mathew Greenwald & Associates, Inc., a Washington, DC-based market research firm.
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OBJECTIVES:this report presents complete period life tables by age, race, and sex for the United States based on age-specific death rates in 2006. METHODS: Data used to prepare the 2006 life tables are 2006 final mortality statistics, July 1, 2006 population estimates based on the 2000 decennial census, and 2006 Medicare data for ages 66-100. The 2006 life tables were estimated using a recently revised methodology first applied to the final annual U.S. life tables series with the 2005 edition (1). For comparability, all life tables for the years 2000-2004 were reestimated using the revised methodology and were published in an appendix of the United States Life Tables, 2005 report (1). These revised tables replace all previously published life tables for years 2000-2004. RESULTs: In 2006, the overall expectation of life at birth was 77.7 years, representing an increase of 0.3 years from life expectancy in 2005. From 2005 to 2006, life expectancy at birth increased for all groups considered. It increased for males (from 74.9 to 75.1) and females (from 79.9 to 80.2), the white (from 77.9 to 78.2) and black populations (from 72.8 to 73.2), black males (from 69.3 to 69.7) and females (from 76.1 to 76.5), and white males (from 75.4 to 75.7) and females (from 80.4 to 80.6).
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People tend to attach less value to a good if they know a delay will occur before they obtain it. For example, people value receiving $100 tomorrow more than receiving $100 in 10 years. We explored one reason for this tendency (due to Parfit, 1984): In terms of psychological properties, such as beliefs, values, and goals, the decision maker is more closely linked to the person (his or her future self) receiving $100 tomorrow than to the person receiving $100 in 10 years. For this reason, he or she prefers his or her nearer self to have the $100 rather than his or her more remote self. Studies 1 and 2 showed that the greater the rated psychological connection between 2 parts of a participant's life, the less he or she discounted future monetary and nonmonetary benefits (e.g., good days at work) over that interval. In Studies 3-5, participants read about characters who undergo large life-changing (and connectedness-weakening) events at different points in their lives and then made decisions about the timing of benefits on behalf of these characters. All 5 studies revealed a relation between perceived psychological connectedness and intertemporal choice: Participants preferred benefits to occur before large changes in connectedness but preferred costs to occur after these changes.
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College students (N=3,435) in 26 cultures reported their perceptions of age-related changes in physical, cognitive, and socioemotional areas of functioning and rated societal views of aging within their culture. There was widespread cross-cultural consensus regarding the expected direction of aging trajectories with (a) perceived declines in societal views of aging, physical attractiveness, the ability to perform everyday tasks, and new learning; (b) perceived increases in wisdom, knowledge, and received respect; and (c) perceived stability in family authority and life satisfaction. Cross-cultural variations in aging perceptions were associated with culture-level indicators of population aging, education levels, values, and national character stereotypes. These associations were stronger for societal views on aging and perceptions of socioemotional changes than for perceptions of physical and cognitive changes. A consideration of culture-level variables also suggested that previously reported differences in aging perceptions between Asian and Western countries may be related to differences in population structure.
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Some people find it more difficult to delay rewards than others. In three experiments, we tested a "future self-continuity" hypothesis that individual differences in the perception of one's present self as continuous with a future self would be associated with measures of saving in the laboratory and everyday life. Higher future self-continuity (assessed by a novel index) predicted reduced discounting of future rewards in a laboratory task, more matches in adjectival descriptions of present and future selves, and greater lifetime accumulation of financial assets (even after controlling for age and education). In addition to demonstrating the reliability and validity of the future self-continuity index, these findings are consistent with the notion that increased future self-continuity might promote saving for the future.
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Although many economists, most notably Strotz, have discussed dynamic inconsistency and precommitment, none have dealt directly with the essence of the problem: self-control. This paper attempts to fill that gap by modeling man as an organization. The Strotz model is recast to include the control features missing in his formulation. The organizational analogy permits us to draw on the theory of agency. We thus relate the individual's control problems with those that exist in agency relationships.
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As firms switch from defined-benefit plans to defined-contribution plans, employees bear more responsibility for making decisions about how much to save. The employees who fail to join the plan or who participate at a very low level appear to be saving at less than the predicted life cycle savings rates. Behavioral explanations for this behavior stress bounded rationality and self-control and suggest that at least some of the low-saving households are making a mistake and would welcome aid in making decisions about their saving. In this paper, we propose such a prescriptive savings program, called Save More Tomorrow (hereafter, the SMarT program). The essence of the program is straightforward: people commit in advance to allocating a portion of their future salary increases toward retirement savings. We report evidence on the first three implementations of the SMarT program. Our key findings, from the first implementation, which has been in place for four annual raises, are as follows: (1) a high proportion (78 percent) of those offered the plan joined, (2) the vast majority of those enrolled in the SMarT plan (80 percent) remained in it through the fourth pay raise, and (3) the average saving rates for SMarT program participants increased from 3.5 percent to 13.6 percent over the course of 40 months. The results suggest that behavioral economics can be used to design effective prescriptive programs for important economic decisions.
Book
How do people decide whether to sacrifice now for a future reward or to enjoy themselves in the present? Do the future gains of putting money in a pension fund outweigh going to Hawaii for New Year's Eve? Why does a person's self-discipline one day often give way to impulsive behavior the next? Time and Decision takes up these questions with a comprehensive collection of new research on intertemporal choice, examining how people face the problem of deciding over time. Economists approach intertemporal choice by means of a model in which people discount the value of future events at a constant rate. A vacation two years from now is worth less to most people than a vacation next week. Psychologists, on the other hand, have focused on the cognitive and emotional underpinnings of intertemporal choice. Time and Decision draws from both disciplinary approaches to provide a comprehensive picture of the various layers of choice involved. Shane Frederick, George Loewenstein, and Ted O'Donoghue introduce the volume with an overview of the research on time discounting and focus on how people actually discount the future compared to the standard economic model. Alex Kacelnik discusses the crucial role that the ability to delay gratification must have played in evolution. Walter Mischel and colleagues review classic research showing that four year olds who are able to delay gratification subsequently grow up to perform better in college than their counterparts who chose instant gratification. The book also delves into the neurobiology of patience, examining the brain structures involved in the ability to withstand an impulse. Turning to the issue of self-control, Klaus Wertenbroch examines the relationship between consumption and available resources, showing, for example, how a high credit limit can lead people to overspend. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin show how people's awareness of their self-control problems affects their decision-making. The final section of the book examines intertemporal choice with regard to health, drug addiction, dieting, marketing, savings, and public policy. All of us make important decisions every day-many of which profoundly affect the quality of our lives. Time and Decision provides a fascinating look at the complex factors involved in how and why we make our choices, so many of them short-sighted, and helps us understand more precisely this crucial human frailty.
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What was noted by E. J. Langer (1978) remains true today; that much of contemporary psychological research is based on the assumption that people are consciously and systematically processing incoming information in order to construe and interpret their world and to plan and engage in courses of action. As did E. J. Langer, the authors question this assumption. First, they review evidence that the ability to exercise such conscious, intentional control is actually quite limited, so that most of moment-to-moment psychological life must occur through nonconscious means if it is to occur at all. The authors then describe the different possible mechanisms that produce automatic, environmental control over these various phenomena and review evidence establishing both the existence of these mechanisms as well as their consequences for judgments, emotions, and behavior. Three major forms of automatic self-regulation are identified: an automatic effect of perception on action, automatic goal pursuit, and a continual automatic evaluation of one's experience. From the accumulating evidence, the authors conclude that these various nonconscious mental systems perform the lion's share of the self-regulatory burden, beneficently keeping the individual grounded in his or her current environment.
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of research on choice preferences for delayed, larger versus immediate, smaller gratifications. In spite of the widespread recognition of the important role of delay of gratification in human affairs, previous experimental research on the topic has been limited. At the empirical level, extensive experimental work has been done on delay of reward in animals. Surprisingly, although voluntary delay behavior has been assumed to be a critical component of such concepts as “ego strength,” “impulse control,” and “internalization,” prior to the present research program relatively little systematic attention had been devoted to it in empirical work on human social behavior. The chapter presents, in greater detail, selected studies that focus on the role of cognitive processes during self-imposed delay. Many theorists have paid tribute abstractly to the importance of cognition for the phenomena of personality in general and for self-regulatory processes in particular. These tributes have been accompanied by some correlational research that explores, for example, the links between intelligence, self-control, cognitive styles, and other dispositional. The chapter offers a further theoretical analysis of the determinants of delay behavior.
Article
The capacity to reflect on one’s sense of self is an important component of self‐awareness. In this paper, we investigate some of the neurocognitive processes underlying reflection on the self using functional MRI. Eleven healthy volunteers were scanned with echoplanar imaging using the blood oxygen level‐dependent contrast method. The task consisted of aurally delivered statements requiring a yes–no decision. In the experimental condition, participants responded to a variety of statements requiring knowledge of and reflection on their own abilities, traits and attitudes (e.g. ‘I forget important things’, ‘I’m a good friend’, ‘I have a quick temper’). In the control condition, participants responded to statements requiring a basic level of semantic knowledge (e.g. ‘Ten seconds is more than a minute’, ‘You need water to live’). The latter condition was intended to control for auditory comprehension, attentional demands, decision‐making, the motoric response, and any common retrieval processes. Individual analyses revealed consistent anterior medial prefrontal and posterior cingulate activation for all participants. The overall activity for the group, using a random‐effects model, occurred in anterior medial prefrontal cortex ( t = 13.0, corrected P = 0.05; x , y , z , 0, 54, 8, respectively) and the posterior cingulate ( t = 14.7, P = 0.02; x , y , z , –2, –62, 32, respectively; 967 voxel extent). These data are consistent with lesion studies of impaired awareness, and suggest that the medial prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortex are part of a neural system subserving self‐reflective thought.
Article
People have self-control problems: We pursue immediate gratification in a way that we ourselves do not appreciate in the long run. Only recently have economists considered the behavioral and welfare implications of such time-inconsistent preferences. This paper outlines a simple formal model of self-control problems, applies this model to some specific economic applications, and discusses some general lessons and open questions in the economic analysis of immediate gratification. We emphasize the importance of the timing of the rewards and costs of an activity, as well as a person's awareness of future self-control problems. We identify situations where knowing about self-control problems helps a person and situations where it hurts her, and also identify situations where even mild self-control problems can severely damage a person. In the process, we describe specific implications of self-control problems for addiction, incentive theory, and consumer choice and marketing. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
This paper presents a problem which I believe has not heretofore been analysed2 and provides a theory to explain, under different circumstances, three related phenomena: (1) spendthriftiness; (2) the deliberate regimenting of one’s future economic behaviour— even at a cost; and (3) thrift. The senses in which we deal with these topics can probably not be very well understood, however, until after the paper has been read; but a few sentences at this point may shed some light on what we are up to.
Article
The National Retirement Risk Index measures the share of American households who are ‘at risk’ of being unable to maintain their pre-retirement stan­dard of living in retirement. The Index results from comparing households’ projected replacement rates – retirement income as a percent of pre-retirement income – with target rates that would allow them to maintain their living standard. The results showed that even if households work to age 65 and annui­tize all their financial assets, including the receipts from reverse mortgages on their homes, in 2004 43 percent would have been ‘at risk’ of being unable to maintain their standard of living in retirement. The NRRI was originally constructed using the Federal Reserve’s 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). The SCF is a triennial survey of a nationally representative sample of U.S. households, which collects detailed information on households’ as­sets, liabilities, and demographic characteristics. The release of the Federal Reserve’s 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances seemed like a great opportunity to re-assess Americans’ retirement preparedness. The problem is that the 2007 SCF reflects a world that no longer exists. Interviews were conducted between May and December, a period during which the Dow Jones reached 14,000 and housing prices were only slightly off their peak. Between the time of the interviews and the second quarter of 2009, direct equity holdings of households declined by $7 trillion and housing values dropped by $3 trillion. Thus, two updates are required – one to show what the NRRI looked like in 2007 and one to show what it looks like in mid-2009. As prelude to the updates, Section I describes the changing retirement landscape and Section II reviews the nuts and bolts of constructing the NRRI. Section III updates the NRRI using the 2007 SCF, showing little change in the percent of households ‘at risk.’ Section IV then proj­ects what the NRRI would have looked like had the Survey of Consumer Finances been conducted in the second quarter of 2009, revealing that the share of households ‘at risk’ has increased to 51 percent in the wake of the financial crisis. Section V concludes that the NRRI confirms what we already know – namely that today’s workers face a major retirement income challenge.
Article
The cognitive significance of being in a close relationship is described in terms of including other in the self (in K. Lewin's [1948] sense of overlapping regions of the life space and in W. James [1890/1948] sense of the self as resources, perspectives, and characteristics). Exp 1 (with 24 college students), adapting W. B. Liebrand's (see record 1985-20117-001) decomposed-game procedures, found less self/other difference in allocations of money to a friend than to a stranger, regardless of whether Ss expected other to know their allocations. Exp 2 (with 20 female undergraduates), adapting C. G. Lord's (see record 1988-00331-001) procedures, found that Ss recalled fewer nouns previously imaged with self or mother than nouns imaged with a nonclose other, suggesting that mother was processed more like self than a stranger. Exp 3 (with 17 married graduate students), adapting self-schema, reaction-time (RT) procedures (e.g., H. Markus; see record 1977-27587-001) found longer latencies when making "me/not me" decisions for traits that were different between self and spouse versus traits that were similar for both, suggesting a self/other confusion with spouse. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Describes 3 experiments with a total of 92 3-5 yr. olds. Exp. I compared the effects of external and cognitive distraction from reward objects on the length of time which Ss waited for a preferred delayed reward before forfeiting it for a less preferred immediate one. In accord with predictions from an extension of frustrative nonreward theory, Ss waited much longer for a preferred reward when they were distracted from the rewards. Exp. II demonstrated that only certain cognitive events (thinking "fun things") served as effective ideational distractors. Thinking "sad thoughts" produced short delay times, as did thinking about the rewards themselves. In Exp. III the delayed rewards were not physically available for direct attention during the delay period, and Ss' cognitive attention was manipulated by prior instructions. While Ss waited, cognitions about the rewards significantly reduced, rather than enhanced, the length of their delay of gratification. Overall, attentional and cognitive mechanisms which enhanced the salience of rewards shortened the length of voluntary delay, while distractions from the rewards, overtly or cognitively, facilitated delay. Results permit a reinterpretation of basic mechanisms in voluntary delay of gratification and self-control. (16 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In 2 studies, the Inclusion of Other in the Self (IOS) Scale, a single-item, pictorial measure of closeness, demonstrated alternate-form and test–retest reliability; convergent validity with the Relationship Closeness Inventory (E. Berscheid et al, 1989), the R. J. Sternberg (1988) Intimacy Scale, and other measures; discriminant validity; minimal social desirability correlations; and predictive validity for whether romantic relationships were intact 3 mo later. Also identified and cross-validated were (1) a 2-factor closeness model (Feeling Close and Behaving Close) and (2) longevity–closeness correlations that were small for women vs moderately positive for men. Five supplementary studies showed convergent and construct validity with marital satisfaction and commitment and with a reaction-time (RT)-based cognitive measure of closeness in married couples; and with intimacy and attraction measures in stranger dyads following laboratory closeness-generating tasks. In 3 final studies most Ss interpreted IOS Scale diagrams as depicting interconnectedness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
What was noted by E. J. Langer (1978) remains true today: that much of contemporary psychological research is based on the assumption that people are consciously and systematically processing incoming information in order to construe and interpret their world and to plan and engage in courses of action. As did Langer, the authors question this assumption. First, they review evidence that the ability to exercise such conscious, intentional control is actually quite limited, so that most of moment-to-moment psychological life must occur through nonconscious means if it is to occur at all. The authors then describe the different possible mechanisms that produce automatic, environmental control over these various phenomena and review evidence establishing both the existence of these mechanisms as well as their consequences for judgments, emotions, and behavior. Three major forms of automatic self-regulation are identified: an automatic effect of perception on action, automatic goal pursuit, and a continual automatic evaluation of one's experience. From the accumulating evidence, the authors conclude that these various nonconscious mental systems perform the lion's share of the self-regulatory burden, beneficently keeping the individual grounded in his or her current environment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Discusses how human beings bind or "precommit" themselves as a protection against their own irrationality, as Ulysses made his crew bind him to the mast lest he succumb to the sirens' song. Examples of this imperfect rationality are cited from many fields: consumer behavior, experimental psychology, the history of philosophy, the philosophy of mind, and moral psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The authors present and test a theory of temporal self-appraisal. According to the theory, people can maintain their typically favorable self-regard by disparaging their distant and complimenting their recent past selves. This pattern of appraisals should be stronger for more important attributes because of their greater impact on self-regard and stronger for self-ratings than for ratings of other people. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that participants are more critical of distant past selves than of current selves, and Study 3 showed that this effect is obtained even when concurrent evaluations indicate no actual improvement. Studies 4 and 5 revealed that people perceived greater improvement for self than for acquaintances and siblings over the same time period. Study 6 provided support for the predicted effects of temporal distance and attribute importance on people's evaluation of past selves.
Article
Prosocial lending in the form of micro-financing, small uncollateralized loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world, has recently emerged as a leading contender as a cure for world poverty. Our research investigates, in a field setting with real world and consequential data, the characteristics of borrowers that engender lending. We observe that lenders favor individual borrowers over groups or consortia of borrowers, a pattern consistent with the identifiable victim effect. They also favor borrowers that are socially proximate to themselves. Across three dimensions of social distance (gender, occupation, and first name initial) lenders prefer to give to those who are more like themselves. Finally, we discuss policy implications of these findings.
Article
Virtual environments, such as online games and web-based chat rooms, increasingly allow us to alter our digital self-representations dramatically and easily. But as we change our self-representations, do our self-representations change our behavior in turn? In 2 experimental studies, we explore the hypothesis that an individual’s behavior conforms to their digital self-representation independent of how others perceive them—a process we term the Proteus Effect. In the first study, participants assigned to more attractive avatars in immersive virtual environments were more intimate with confederates in a self-disclosure and interpersonal distance task than participants assigned to less attractive avatars. In our second study, participants assigned taller avatars behaved more confidently in a negotiation task than participants assigned shorter avatars. We discuss the implications of the Proteus Effect with regards to social interactions in online environments.
Article
We examine the role of declining mortality in explaining the rise of retirement over the course of the twentieth century. We construct a model in which individuals make labor/leisure choices over their lifetimes subject to uncertainty about their dates of death. In an environment with high mortality, an individual who saves for retirement faces a high risk of dying before he can enjoy his planned leisure. In this case, the optimal plan is for people to work until they die. As mortality falls, however, it becomes optimal to plan, and save for, retirement. We analyze our model using two mathematical formulations of the survival function as well as data on actual changes in the US life table over the last century, and show that this “uncertainty effect” of declining mortality would have more than outweighed the “horizon effect” by which rising life expectancy would have led to later retirement. KeywordsLife cycle model-Retirement-Annuities JEL ClassificationE21-I12-J11-J26
Hyperbolic and exponential discounting functions were compared as models of subjects′ present valuations of delayed rewards. Previous comparisons have been limited by relying on the assumption that discounting rate is independent of reward size; we avoided this limitation by making all comparisons within reward sizes. In Experiment 1, using real rewards in a simulated auction, and in Experiment 2, using hypothetical rewards, we offered subjects five monetary rewards at six delays each and asked them to indicate the smallest amount that they would accept immediately in exchange for those rewards. Both discounting functions were then fit to the six reported amounts for each reward using nonlinear regressions. In both experiments, although both functions fit the data very well, the hyperbolic function fit better for all of the delayed rewards. Furthermore, the hyperbolic function better described the data for 20 of 21 and 14 of 18 subjects in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively.
Article
This paper explores a judgmental heuristic in which a person evaluates the frequency of classes or the probability of events by availability, i.e., by the ease with which relevant instances come to mind. In general, availability is correlated with ecological frequency, but it is also affected by other factors. Consequently, the reliance on the availability heuristic leads to systematic biases. Such biases are demonstrated in the judged frequency of classes of words, of combinatorial outcomes, and of repeated events. The phenomenon of illusory correlation is explained as an availability bias. The effects of the availability of incidents and scenarios on subjective probability are discussed.
Article
Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published following peer-review in Critical perspectives on accounting, published by and copyright Academic Press. Over the last 15 years, critical organization theorists have increasingly adopted postmodernist perspectives. The setting-up of Organization by a group of “radical organization theorists” provided an outlet for a network of authors who considered “conventional” management journals restricted their thinking and writing. Since the first issue in 1994, Organization has become established as an important outlet for scholars from a wide range of countries. This diversity is combined with a concentration of authors associated with five universities, Warwick, UMIST, Lancaster, Keele (UK) and Massachusetts Amherst (US) who account for more than 27% of all publications during the first 8 years. We use the concepts of “solidarity group” and “invisible college” [de Solla Price DJ. Science since Babylon. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1961; de Solla Price DJ. Little science, big science. New York: Columbia University Press; 1963; de Solla Price DJ, Beaver D. Collaboration in an invisible college. Am Psychol 1966;21:1011–8; Crane D. Invisible colleges: diffusion of knowledge in scientific communities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1972] as the basis for a critical analysis of this network of authors many of whom are linked to the journal's editorial board. We also offer a critique of the bureaucratic nature of the journal's Organizational structure that, we suggest, contradicts the principles underpinning postmodernism. For example, Cooper and Burrell distinguish between the modernist “control” model and the “autonomy” model that approximates to the postmodernist perspective.
Article
We model the brain as a multi-agent organization. Based on recent neuroscience evidence, we assume that different systems of the brain have different time-horizons and different access to information. Introducing asymmetric information as a restriction on optimal choices generates endogenous constraints in decision-making. In this game played between brain systems, we show the optimality of a self-disciplining rule of the type “work more today if you want to consume more today” and discuss its behavioral implications for the distribution of consumption over the life-cycle. We also argue that our dual-system theory provides “micro-microfoundations” for discounting and offer testable implications that depart from traditional models with no conflict and exogenous discounting. Last, we analyze a variant in which the agent has salient incentives or biased motivations. The previous rule is then replaced by a simple, non-intrusive precept of the type “consume what you want, just don’t abuse”.
Article
Why do consumers sometimes act against their own better judgment, engaging in behavior that is often regretted after the fact and that would have been rejected with adequate forethought? More generally, how do consumers attempt to maintain self-control in the face of time-inconsistent preferences? This article addresses consumer impatience by developing a decision-theoretic model based on reference points. The model explains how and why consumers experience sudden increases in desire for a product, increases that can result in the temporary overriding of long-term preferences. Tactics that consumers use to control their own behavior are also discussed. Consumer self-control is framed as a struggle between two psychological forces, desire and willpower. Finally, two general classes of self-control strategies are described: those that directly reduce desire, and those that overcome desire through willpower. Copyright 1991 by the University of Chicago.
Article
When older individuals apply negative age stereotypes to themselves, they can adversely influence a wide range of outcomes (Levy, Slade, Kunkel, & Kasl, 2002). These outcomes include a greater cardiovascular response to stress and worse health behaviors, such as higher tobacco use (Levy, Hausdorff, Hencke, & Wei, 2000; Levy & Myers, 2004), both of which have been linked to the risk of cardiovascular events (Jiang et al., 1996). We consider here for the first time whether negative stereotypes held earlier in life have consequences for health in later life. We predicted that younger individuals who held more negative age stereotypes would have a greater likelihood of experiencing cardiovascular events up to 38 years later than individuals with more positive age stereotypes.