Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/29101
Appears in Collections:Economics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: A theory of self-control and naïveté: The blights of willpower and blessings of temptation
Author(s): Myrseth, Kristian Ove R
Wollbrant, Conny E
Contact Email: conny.wollbrant@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Self-control
Temptation
Inter-temporal choice
Pre-commitment
Issue Date: Feb-2013
Citation: Myrseth KOR & Wollbrant CE (2013) A theory of self-control and naïveté: The blights of willpower and blessings of temptation. Journal of Economic Psychology, 34, pp. 8-19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joep.2012.11.003
Abstract: We model self-control conflict as an agent's stochastic struggle against a visceral influence that impels the agent to act sub-optimally. The agent holds costly pre-commitment technology to avoid the conflict altogether and may decide whether to procure pre-commitment or to confront the visceral influence. We examine naïve expectations for the strength of the visceral influence; naïve expectations lead the agent to exaggerate the expected utility of resisting temptation and so mistakenly forego pre-commitment. Contrary to accepted wisdom, our analysis reveals conditions under which higher will-power—and lower visceral influence—reduces welfare. Our analysis, therefore, calls into question policy measures that influence willpower and visceral influences.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.joep.2012.11.003
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