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Choice and self: how synchronic and diachronic identity shape choices and decision making


  • Oleg Urminsky


  • Daniel Bartels


  • Paola Giuliano


  • George Newman


  • Stefano Puntoni


  • Lance Rips



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. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Oleg Urminsky & Daniel Bartels & Paola Giuliano & George Newman & Stefano Puntoni & Lance Rips, 2014. "Choice and self: how synchronic and diachronic identity shape choices and decision making," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 281-291, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:mktlet:v:25:y:2014:i:3:p:281-291
    DOI: 10.1007/s11002-014-9312-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2013. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 469-530.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    3. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & A. Joshua Strickland, 2010. "Social Identity and Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1913-1928, September.
    4. Akerlof George A & Kranton Rachel, 2010. "Identity Economics," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-3, June.
    5. repec:eee:ijrema:v:29:y:2012:i:4:p:310-321 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:hrv:faseco:33077826 is not listed on IDEAS
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