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Title: Discounting from a distance: the effect of pronoun drop on intertemporal decisions
Authors: Chen, Josie I.
He, Tai-Sen
Keywords: Social sciences::Economic theory
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Chen, J. I. & He, T. (2021). Discounting from a distance: the effect of pronoun drop on intertemporal decisions. Journal of Economic Psychology, 87, 102454-.
Project: RG 141/19 
Journal: Journal of Economic Psychology 
Abstract: Intertemporal decisions—trade-offs between immediate and delayed rewards—are ubiquitous in daily life, and the ability to resist the emotional temptation to choose immediate gratification predicts long-term economic outcomes. Based on existing research on self-distancing—a psychological technique that cues people to assess their experiences from afar and has been shown to facilitate emotion regulation—we propose a novel, unobtrusive linguistic self-distancing strategy through a subtle pronoun drop and examine its impact on intertemporal decisions. In a delay-discounting task, participants made a series of intertemporal choices between smaller-sooner and larger-delayed rewards. We conveyed the monetary rewards using the first-person pronoun “I” in the self-immersed “I” condition, whereas the pronoun was dropped in the self-distanced “No Pronoun” condition. The results show that the subtle pronoun drop in the description of the monetary rewards reduced participants’ tendency to discount future rewards, leading to more patient choices. Alternative explanations, implications, and future directions are also discussed.
ISSN: 0167-4870
DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2021.102454
Schools: School of Social Sciences 
Rights: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SSS Journal Articles

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