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Self-Deception and Choice

Author

Listed:
  • Jawwad Noor

    () (Department of Economics, Boston University)

  • Igor Kopylov

    () (Department of Economics, University of California, Irvine)

Abstract

The temptation literature has provided models where desires attain satisfaction by commanding the agent’s attention. We consider a model of self-deception, where desires command the agent’s reasoning, leading her to rationalize and justify actions that eventually lead into temptation. Formally, we write axioms for a three-period extension of Gul and Pesendorfer’s (2001) framework and obtain a special functional form for the temptation utility at the interim stage. The representation portrays an agent who is tempted (i) to relax her normative attitude towards future indulgence and (ii) to turn a blind eye to any possibility of temptation altogether. Welfare implications of self-deception are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Jawwad Noor & Igor Kopylov, 2010. "Self-Deception and Choice," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-042, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2010-042
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Jonathan A. Parker, 2005. "Optimal Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1092-1118, September.
    2. Noor, Jawwad, 2007. "Commitment and self-control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 1-34, July.
    3. Jawwad Noor, 2005. "Temptation, Welfare and Revealed Preference," Microeconomics 0509009, EconWPA.
    4. Larry G. Epstein, 2006. "An Axiomatic Model of Non-Bayesian Updating," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(2), pages 413-436.
    5. Kopylov Igor, 2009. "Temptations in General Settings," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-25, September.
    6. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L & Rustichini, Aldo, 2001. "Representing Preferences with a Unique Subjective State Space," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 891-934, July.
    7. Kopylov, Igor, 2009. "Finite additive utility representations for preferences over menus," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 354-374, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stovall, John E., 2018. "Temptation with uncertain normative preference," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 13(1), January.
    2. Zak, F., 2014. "Psychological Games in the Theory of Choice: Temptation, Perfectionism, Self-deception," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 12-32.
    3. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman, 2010. "How (Not) to Do Decision Theory," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 257-282, September.
    4. Kopylov Igor, 2009. "Temptations in General Settings," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-25, September.
    5. Dag Sommervoll, 2013. "Sweet self-deception," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 109(1), pages 73-88, May.
    6. Gorno, Leandro, 2016. "Additive representation for preferences over menus in finite choice settings," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 41-47.
    7. Barbos, Andrei, 2013. "A reference-dependent representation with subjective tastes," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 111-123.
    8. Leandro Gorno, 2010. "Additive representation for preferences over menus in finite choice settings," Working Papers 1292, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Econometric Research Program..
    9. Barton L. Lipman & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2010. "Temptation," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-021, Boston University - Department of Economics.

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