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Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Present Bias and Everyday Self-Control Failures
Author(s): Delaney, Liam
Lades, Leonhard
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Citation: Delaney L & Lades L (2015) Present Bias and Everyday Self-Control Failures. Stirling Economics Discussion Paper, 2015-01.
Keywords: self-control
inter-temporal choice
present bias
elicitation of time preferences
day reconstruction method
JEL Code(s): D03: Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
D91: Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
Issue Date: 31-Jul-2015
Date Deposited: 31-Jan-2017
Series/Report no.: Stirling Economics Discussion Paper, 2015-01
Abstract: Present bias is the economist’s favorite explanation for self-control problems. However, the relationship between present bias and selfcontrol is not yet fully understood. We present the T-SC model of intertemporal choice which integrates main psychological insights on selfcontrol into economics and suggests that present bias is positively related to temptations T and negatively related to self-control SC. To test the model we elicit time preferences using an incentivized delay discounting task, trait temptation and trait self-control using scale measures, and everyday temptations, self-control attempts, and self-control failures using a day reconstruction methodology. In a sample of 142 participants we find that experimentally elicited present bias is not associated with self-control problems, neither when measured on the trait level nor in everyday life. The results are in line with a clear distinction between discounting and visceral influences as determinants of decision making. The results can also explain why recent studies find only weak empirical associations between present bias elicited in monetary delay discounting tasks and life outcomes in non-monetary domains.
Type: Working Paper
Affiliation: Economics

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