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Title: An inconvenient choice: Effects of self-control, time perspective, and future self-continuity on consumer preferences for eco-friendly products
Authors: Rankin-Higgins, Emily
Advisors: Coman, Alin
Contributors: Osherson, Daniel
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: Research has tied self-control and the ability to think through the future consequences of one’s actions to a broad range of desirable outcomes. Within the realm of consumer behavior, research has been more limited, mainly focusing on impulsive buying tendencies. We predicted that the ability to delay gratification, represented by the trait of self-control, and time perspective, represented by the construct Consideration of Future Consequences (CFC), are relevant to tradeoffs consumers make between products with short-term and long-term benefits. In Study 1, we tested our hypothesis that self-control and CFC would predict participants’ preferences for organic products emphasizing future-oriented health and environmental benefits. In light of evidence for a relatively greater impact of CFC, Study 2 then experimentally manipulated participants’ cognitions about the future by altering their degree of future self-continuity. We observed a robust effect of the manipulation on both discounting rates on an intertemporal choice task and product preferences, confirming our hypotheses that greater psychological connectedness with one’s future self leads to more farsighted choices. Limitations of our design, as well as implications and directions for future research are then discussed.
Extent: 76 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2016

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