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