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The economics of possible selves

  • Teraji, Shinji

This article proposes an economic model of how intentional self-change occurs. People have an array of possible selves. The self-system is multifaceted and dynamic, with different self-representations activated at different times. Comparison between the actual self and the ideal self has important motivational consequences. The response to perceived discrepancy can be shaped toward desired behavioral change. However, self-verification is also an important factor in the individual's motivational system. Self-verification is expected to undermine intentional self-change. Individuals may have an inert area within which they do not attempt self-change. The inert area idea permits both optimal and sub-optimal economic outcomes within the same model.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 45-51

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:1:p:45-51
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Teraji, Shinji, 2008. "Culture, effort variability, and hierarchy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 157-166, February.
  2. Levine, Daniel S., 2006. "Neural modeling of the dual motive theory of economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 613-625, August.
  3. Olivier Compte & Andrew Postlewaite, 2001. "Confidence-Enhanced Performance," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-023, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 May 2003.
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  6. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
  7. Altman, Morris, 2001. "Culture, human agency, and economic theory: culture as a determinant of material welfare," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 379-391.
  8. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  9. Lea, Stephen E.G. & Webley, Paul, 2005. "In search of the economic self," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 585-604, October.
  10. Bazin, Damien & Ballet, Jerome, 2006. "A basic model for multiple self," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1050-1060, December.
  11. Teraji, Shinji, 2007. "Morale and the evolution of norms," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 48-57, February.
  12. Lynne, Gary D., 2006. "Toward a dual motive metaeconomic theory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 634-651, August.
  13. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
  14. John B. Davis, 2007. "Akerlof and Kranton on identity in economics: inverting the analysis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(3), pages 349-362, May.
  15. Moldoveanu, Mihnea & Stevenson, Howard, 2001. "The self as a problem: the intra-personal coordination of conflicting desires," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 295-330.
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