“Cognitive, Affective, and Situational Determinants of Intertemporal Choice” by Dr. Ye LI
Dr. Ye LI
Assistant Professor of Management and Marketing
School of Business Administration
University of California, Riverside
Economists and psychologists mostly agree on the importance of individual differences in time preference (i.e., temporal discount rates). Indeed, numerous studies have shown that laboratory-derived estimates of time preference relate to a variety field behaviors with delayed consequences (i.e., intertemporal choice behaviors), ranging from retirement savings to investing in one's education, and from overeating to smoking and using recreational drugs. Yet, little is known about what determine individual differences in time preference and how those differences in time preference relate to differences in actual behavior. My research approaches these questions from three angles, examining the cognitive, affective, and situational determinants of patience in intertemporal choices. I show that both how you think and how you feel can affect how patiently you behave. Furthermore, differences in the psychological factors that differentiate these field behaviors (e.g., some are habitual, others represent self-control dilemmas, for some others, the only rationale for the behavior is the intertemporal trade-off) moderate how well actual behaviors are predicted by lab measures of time preference.