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Because It Is There: The Challenge of Mountaineering . . . for Utility Theory

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  • Loewenstein, George

Abstract

I argue that four sources of utility that have rarely been incorporated into economic analyses--self-signaling (self-esteem), goal completion, mastery, and meaning--constitute extremely important motives in human behavior. I illustrate the importance of these motives by drawing upon the mountaineering literature. After showing that mountaineering can not possibly be understood as a consumption experience--i.e., an experience that directly yields sensory or mental pleasure--I argue that it can be explained, at least in part, on the basis of these four motives. Moreover, the importance of these motives is not limited to mountaineering, but extends to many if not most economic and noneconomic activities. Copyright 1999 by WWZ and Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag AG

Suggested Citation

  • Loewenstein, George, 1999. "Because It Is There: The Challenge of Mountaineering . . . for Utility Theory," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 315-343.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:52:y:1999:i:3:p:315-43
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