How the Perceived (Dis)Continuity of Identity Underlies Intertemporal Choice

We explore connectedness to the future self as an explanation of time preference (Parfit 1984): smaller immediate benefits may be more attractive when you are more closely connected psychologically to your tomorrow’s self than to the future self that would receive deferred benefits. We show that declining connectedness over time can explain discounting for one’s own choices. Likewise, monetary benefits for third-parties are timed to occur before they undergo symbolic changes to self-identity (rather than after). Furthermore, manipulating anticipation of change in connectedness impacts time preferences in three studies (e.g. when to receive gift cards, waiting for savings in purchasing).


Daniel M. Bartels, Oleg Urminsky, and Lance J. Rips (2010) ,"How the Perceived (Dis)Continuity of Identity Underlies Intertemporal Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 246-249 .


Daniel M. Bartels, University of Chicago, USA
Oleg Urminsky, University of Chicago, USA
Lance J. Rips, Northwestern University, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


If No One Saw It on Instagram, Was It Any Good? Examining Received Attention as a Social Benefit of Experiential Consumption

Matthew J Hall, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Jamie D. Hyodo, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Read More


F8. Dual Routes for Consumer Responses to Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of Positive Moral Emotions, Attitudes, and Empathy

Chunyan Xie, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
Richard P. Bagozzi, University of Michigan, USA

Read More


When Too much “I” is Bad for “Us”: The Detrimental Effect of Selfie on Self -Brand Connection.

MEHAK BHARTI, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Sharon Ng, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

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.