Bending Arms, Bending Discounting Functions - How Motor Actions Affect Intertemporal Decision-Making

42 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2010

See all articles by Bram Van den Bergh

Bram Van den Bergh

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB)

Julien Schmitt

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Siegfried Dewitte

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB)

Luk Warlop

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB); BI Norwegian Business School

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

In five studies we demonstrate that task-irrelevant somatic activity influences intertemporal decision making: Arm movements associated with approach (arm flexion), rather than avoidance (arm extension), instigate present-biased preferences. We show that the preference for immediate over delayed gratification is moderated by the sensitivity of the approach system and, owing to learning principles, restricted to arm positions of the dominant hand. This research extends the effects of somatic activity beyond attitude formation and cognition, and provides empirical evidence for the effect of somatic activity on motivational systems.

Suggested Citation

Van den Bergh, Bram and Schmitt, Julien and Dewitte, Siegfried and Warlop, Luk, Bending Arms, Bending Discounting Functions - How Motor Actions Affect Intertemporal Decision-Making (2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1538753 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1538753

Bram Van den Bergh

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Julien Schmitt

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Siegfried Dewitte

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Luk Warlop (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

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