Do We Give More of Our Present Selves Or Our Future Selves? Psychological Distance and Prosocial Decision Making

Four studies investigated individuals' charitable behavior in different situations (volunteering to tutor, donating money, drinking a disgusting liquid to help a researcher, or receiving emails to help charity) when making decisions for present selves, future selves, and others. Individuals' greater focus on internal subjective experiences when deciding for the present self led them to choose differently for present selves, compared to future selves or others. When individuals' subjective experience focused on the benefits of helping, they were more generous on behalf of present selves than future selves and others; when focused on the costs of helping, the reverse was true.


Kathleen Kennedy, Christopher Olivola, and Emily Pronin (2009) ,"Do We Give More of Our Present Selves Or Our Future Selves? Psychological Distance and Prosocial Decision Making", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 190-194.


Kathleen Kennedy, Princeton University, USA
Christopher Olivola, Princeton University, USA
Emily Pronin, Princeton University, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


L9. To Save Face or Follow My Heart: Salesperson’s Inquiries of In-Group Identity on Consumers’ Purchase

Lingru Wei, Tencent Holdings Limited
Jooyoung Park, Peking University

Read More


When Stigma Does Good: Accentuating Certain Aspects of Stigma Enhances Effectiveness of Mental Health Messages

Chethana Achar, University of Washington, USA
Nidhi Agrawal, University of Washington, USA

Read More


Consuming Commodified Selves – Accelerated Identity Co-Construction Dynamics Through Fashion Performances on Instagram

Jonathan David Schöps, University of Innsbruck, Austria

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.