Choice and Self: How Synchronic and Diachronic Identity Shape Choices and Decision Making
Marketing Letters, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 281-291, 2014
11 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2015
Date Written: 2014
Research on the role of identity in choice varies widely across fields like psychology, philosophy, consumer behavior, and economics, in both the key questions addressed and the methods of investigation. Although a large literature has established how salient aspects of identity affect attitudes and norms, less is known about how beliefs concerning identity are shaped and how these beliefs affect decision making. In this review, we cover recent insights into these issues and summarize some newer, developing approaches to understanding (i) how people judge the persistence of identity, (ii) how beliefs about future changes in identity are formed and how they affect choices, (iii) the formation of beliefs about future changes in identity and how these beliefs affect decisions, and (iv) the historical and economic antecedents of identity norms and their consequences for economic behavior. We introduce a distinction between synchronic and diachronic approaches, and highlight important unresolved questions that will help these fields to more fully understand the role that identity plays in shaping choices.
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