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Biased Memory and Perceptions of Self-Control

Afras Y. Sial, Justin R. Sydnor and Dmitry Taubinsky

No 30825, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Using data from a field experiment on exercise, we analyze the relationship between imperfect memory and people's awareness of their limited self-control. We find that people overestimate past gym attendance, and that larger overestimation of past attendance is associated with (i) more overestimation of future attendance, (ii) a lower willingness to pay to motivate higher future gym attendance, and (iii) a smaller gap between goal and forecasted attendance. We organize these facts with a structural model of quasi-hyperbolic discounting and naivete, estimating that people with more biased memories are more naive about their time inconsistency, but not more time-inconsistent.

JEL-codes: D9 I12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-neu
Note: AG EH PE
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