Harnessing Our Inner Angels and Demons: What We Have Learned About Want/Should Conflicts and How that Knowledge Can Help Us Reduce Short-Sighted Decision Making

50 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2007  

Katherine L. Milkman

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Todd Rogers

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Max H. Bazerman

Harvard Business School - Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit

Date Written: September 2007

Abstract

Although observers of human behavior have long been aware that people regularly struggle with internal conflict when deciding whether to behave responsibly or indulge in impulsivity, psychologists and economists did not begin to empirically investigate this type of want/should conflict until recently. In this paper, we review and synthesize the latest research on want/should conflict, focusing our attention on the findings from an empirical literature on the topic that has blossomed over the last 15 years. We then turn to a discussion of how individuals and policy makers can use what has been learned about want/should conflict to help decision makers select far-sighted options.

Suggested Citation

Milkman, Katherine L. and Rogers, Todd and Bazerman, Max H., Harnessing Our Inner Angels and Demons: What We Have Learned About Want/Should Conflicts and How that Knowledge Can Help Us Reduce Short-Sighted Decision Making (September 2007). Harvard NOM Working Paper No. 08-020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1015894 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1015894

Katherine L. Milkman (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Todd Rogers

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Max H. Bazerman

Harvard Business School - Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6429 (Phone)
617-496-4191 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.people.hbs.edu/mbazerman

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