On Intertemporal Selfishness: How the Perceived Instability of Identity Underlies Impatient Consumption

17 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2011

See all articles by Daniel M. Bartels

Daniel M. Bartels

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Oleg Urminsky

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: January 4, 2011

Abstract

How does the anticipated connectedness between one’s current and future identity help explain impatience in intertemporal preferences? The less consumers are closely connected psychologically to their future selves, the less willing they will be to forgo immediate benefits in order to ensure larger deferred benefits to be received by that future self. When consumers’ measured or manipulated sense of continuity with their future selves is lower, they accept smaller-sooner rewards, wait less in order to save money on a purchase, require a larger premium to delay receiving a gift card, and have lower long-term discount rates.

Suggested Citation

Bartels, Daniel M. and Urminsky, Oleg, On Intertemporal Selfishness: How the Perceived Instability of Identity Underlies Impatient Consumption (January 4, 2011). Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 38, 2011; Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 11-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1938418

Daniel M. Bartels (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Oleg Urminsky

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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