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Towards an Incentive Salience Model of Intertemporal Choice

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  • Leonhard K. Lades

Abstract

This theoretical paper presents an incentive salience model of intertemporal choice. The model is a variation of the quasi-hyperbolic discounting model. Based on the distinction between 'wanting' and 'liking', the paper presents one possible explanation of impulsive choices of smaller sooner rewards instead of larger later ones. These impulsive choices are induced by cues that trigger strong motivational 'wanting' to obtain smaller sooner rewards, but do not necessarily influence the degree to which the rewards are 'liked'. Cue-triggered 'wanting' can occur when an individual is in a specific need deprivation state, perceives a cue previously associated with an immediately obtainable reward, knows that the cued reward can reduce the current deprivation state, and lacks self-control. By integrating cue-triggered 'wanting' into an intertemporal choice model, the incentive salience model allows to predict which rewards elicit impulsive choices of smaller sooner rewards, thus offering an explanation for the domain effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonhard K. Lades, 2011. "Towards an Incentive Salience Model of Intertemporal Choice," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-18, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2011-18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1209-1248.
    2. Diamond, Peter & Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Quasi-hyperbolic discounting and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1839-1872, September.
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    5. Rook, Dennis W, 1987. " The Buying Impulse," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 189-199, September.
    6. Ulrich Witt, 2010. "Economic Behavior - Evolutionary vs. Behavioral Perspectives," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2010-17, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    7. Berns, Gregory S. & Loewenstein, George & Laibson, David I., 2007. "Intertemporal Choice - Toward an Integrative Framework," Scholarly Articles 4554332, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    9. George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-597.
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    13. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
    14. Raeva, Daniela & Mittone, Luigi & Schwarzbach, Jens, 2010. "Regret now, take it now: On the role of experienced regret on intertemporal choice," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 634-642, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lades, Leonhard K., 2014. "Impulsive consumption and reflexive thought: Nudging ethical consumer behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 114-128.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Impulsivity; 'Wanting' versus 'Liking';

    JEL classification:

    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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