Impatient No More! Impulsivity in Choice Depends on How You Frame the Question

Bernd Figner, Columbia University, USA
Eric Johnson, Columbia University, USA
Amy Krosch, Columbia University, USA
Jason Steffener, Eustace Hsu, Elke Weber, Columbia University, USA; Columbia University, USA; Columbia University, USA
One of the most important consumer decisions is whether to consume now, or wait until later. A robust finding is that people are much more impatient when delaying consumption than when given the opportunity to accelerate it. Query Theory (Johnson et al., 2007) suggests a cognitive, retrieval-based explanation for this asymmetry. Investigating this account, we used fMRI to study participants (n=20) making binary delay/accelerate choices between rewards varying in value and delivery-delay (immediate/future, or both future). Results supported the involvement of memory (bilateral hippocampus and related regions) and delay-specific activation of valuation-related circuits, and help explain individual differences in discounting.
[ to cite ]:
Bernd Figner, Eric Johnson, Amy Krosch, and Jason Steffener, Eustace Hsu, Elke Weber (2010) ,"Impatient No More! Impulsivity in Choice Depends on How You Frame the Question", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 60-64 .