Roy F Baumeister, George Loewenstein, Daniel Read (eds)
Russell Sage Foundation (1 March 2003)
How do people decide whether to sacrifice now for a future reward or to enjoy themselves in the present? Do the future gains of putting money in a pension fund outweigh going to Hawaii for New Year's Eve? Why does a person's self-discipline one day often give way to impulsive behavior the next? Time and Decision takes up these questions with a comprehensive collection of new research on intertemporal choice, examining how people face the problem of deciding over time.
Economists approach intertemporal choice by means of a model in which people discount the value of future events at a constant rate. A vacation two years from now is worth less to most people than a vacation next week. Psychologists, on the other hand, have focused on the cognitive and emotional underpinnings of intertemporal choice. This book draws from both disciplinary approaches to provide a comprehensive picture of the various layers of choice involved.
All of us make important decisions every day-many of which profoundly affect the quality of our lives. Time and Decision provides a fascinating look at the complex factors involved in how and why we make our choices, so many of them short-sighted, and helps us understand more precisely this crucial human frailty.
George Loewenstein is professor of economics and psychology, Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University
Daniel Read is reader in operational research, London School of Economics and Political Science
Roy F Baumeister is the Eppes Professor of Psychology, Florida State University.