Procrastination of Enjoyable Experiences

Posted: 20 Oct 2009

See all articles by Suzanne B. Shu

Suzanne B. Shu

University of California, Los Angeles - Anderson School of Management

Ayelet Gneezy

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Date Written: September 28, 2009

Abstract

The tendency to procrastinate applies not only to aversive tasks but also to positive experiences with immediate benefits. We propose that models of time discounting can explain this behavior and test our predictions with field data and experiments. A multi-city study shows that individuals with unlimited time windows delay visiting desirable landmarks; procrastination is reduced once the window of opportunity is constrained. Similarly, recipients of gift certificates and gift cards with long deadlines procrastinate redeeming them more than those with short deadlines, resulting in overall lower redemption rates. These results run counter to participants’ predictions and typical models of impulsive behavior.

Keywords: Procrastination, positive experiences

Suggested Citation

Shu, Suzanne B. and Gneezy, Ayelet, Procrastination of Enjoyable Experiences (September 28, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1479423

Suzanne B. Shu

University of California, Los Angeles - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

Ayelet Gneezy (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

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