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Menu-Dependent Emotions and Self-Control

  • Joaquin Gomez-Minambres

    (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

  • Eric Schniter


    (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

We study a dynamic model of self-control where the history of one's decisions (understood as emotions) has influence on subsequent decision making. We propose that effort and regret are emotions produced by previous decisions to either resist or yield to temptation, respectively. When recalled, these emotions affect an individual's preferences, in turn affecting self-control decision at a particular point in time. Our model provides a unified explanation for several empirical regularities puzzling economists and cognitive scientists. We explain non-stationary consumption paths characterized by compensatory indulgence and restraint cycles, why the amplitude of consumption cycles increases with foresight and decreases with emotional memory, and, finally, we show how unavoidable options that might show up on one's menu influence choices, consequent emotions, consumption paths, and preferences for commitment.

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Paper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 12-20.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:12-20
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  1. Esteban, Susanna & Miyagawa, Eiichi & Shum, Matthew, 2007. "Nonlinear pricing with self-control preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 306-338, July.
  2. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  3. Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2004. "Contracting with Diversely Naïve Agents," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000530, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. repec:oup:restud:v:76:y:2009:i:3:p:937-971 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. repec:oup:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:1:p:147-172 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Anirban Mukhopadhyay & Jaideep Sengupta & Suresh Ramanathan, 2008. "Recalling Past Temptations: An Information-Processing Perspective on the Dynamics of Self-Control," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(4), pages 586-599, 08.
  7. Jawwad Noor, 2006. "Menu-Dependent Self-Control," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001061, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2004. "Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1558-1590, December.
  9. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001. "Temptation and Self-Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
  10. Igor Kopylov, 2012. "Perfectionism and Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(5), pages 1819-1843, 09.
  11. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman & Aldo Rustichini, 2006. "Temptation–Driven Preferences," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-024, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  12. Dockner, Engelbert J & Feichtinger, Gustav, 1993. "Cyclical Consumption Patterns and Rational Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 256-63, March.
  13. Iannaccone, Laurence R., 1986. "Addiction and satiation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 95-99.
  14. Todd Sarver, 2008. "Anticipating Regret: Why Fewer Options May Be Better," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(2), pages 263-305, 03.
  15. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  16. David Laibson, 2001. "A Cue-Theory of Consumption," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 81-119.
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