Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Imagine your future self: Will it help you save money?

Date:
December 26, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Why do people choose present consumption over their long-term financial interests? A new study finds that consumers have trouble feeling connected to their future selves.

Why do people choose present consumption over their long-term financial interests? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research finds that consumers have trouble feeling connected to their future selves.

"This willingness to forego money now and wait for future benefits is strongly affected by how connected we feel to our future self, who will ultimately benefit from the resources we save," write authors Daniel M. Bartels (Columbia Business School) and Oleg Urminsky (University of Chicago).

When we think of saving money for the future, the person we think of can seem different from the person we are now, the authors explain. People have trouble sacrificing in the present for that stranger in the future.

In one study, the researchers had graduating seniors read one of two narratives: the first indicated that their self-identity was already fully formed and would not change after graduation. The other passage indicated that graduation would change their self-identities. "When seniors were told that graduation would lead to major changes in identity, they reported feeling less connected to their future selves," the authors write. "Those thinking about changes in identity were also more impatient, choosing less-valuable gift certificates that would be available sooner over higher-valued gift certificates that required waiting a year."

In a subsequent study, the authors asked people to evaluate their sense of connectedness and similarity to their future selves. Three weeks later, they were asked them to choose between smaller gift cards they could use right away or larger gift cards that would require waiting. "Those who had felt more connected to their future selves then made more patient choices and were more willing to wait for a higher-valued gift card," the authors write.

When people fail to save for the future, they may not be making a mistake or failing to exercise self-discipline; they don't fully recognize benefits that their future selves will receive. "Countering this tendency, by helping people recognize the enduring aspects of their personal identity, may hold the key to making people more patient and more willing to sacrifice, save, and invest for the future," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel M. Bartels, Oleg Urminsky. On Intertemporal Selfishness: How the Perceived Instability of Identity Underlies Impatient Consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, August 2011 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Imagine your future self: Will it help you save money?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112229.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, December 26). Imagine your future self: Will it help you save money?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112229.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Imagine your future self: Will it help you save money?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112229.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

AP (July 25, 2014) Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship has launched a self-guided mobile tour app to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins