Short Horizons and Tempting Situations: Lack of Continuity to Our Future Selves Leads to Unethical Decision Making and Behavior

Hal E. Hershfield, New York University, USA
Taya Cohen, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Leigh Thompson, Northwestern University, USA
People who feel continuity with their future selves are more likely to behave in ethically responsible ways compared to people who lack such a sense of continuity. We find that individual differences in similarity to one’s future self predict tolerance of unethical business decisions and the propensity to lie and cheat.
[ to cite ]:
Hal E. Hershfield, Taya Cohen, and Leigh Thompson (2012) ,"Short Horizons and Tempting Situations: Lack of Continuity to Our Future Selves Leads to Unethical Decision Making and Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 40, eds. Zeynep Gürhan-Canli, Cele Otnes, and Rui (Juliet) Zhu, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 22-27.