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Towards an Incentive Salience Model of Intertemporal Choice

Leonhard K. Lades

Papers on Economics and Evolution from Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography

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.

Keywords: Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Impulsivity; 'Wanting' versus 'Liking' (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C62 C72 C73 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2011-12-15
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe and nep-dcm
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:esi:evopap:2011-18

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