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Title:Motivational goal bracketing PDF Logo
Authors:Koch, Alexander K.
Nafziger, Julia
Issue Date:2009
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 4471
Abstract:It is a puzzle why people often evaluate consequences of choices separately (narrow bracketing) rather than jointly (broad bracketing). We study the hypothesis that a present-biased individual, who faces two tasks, may bracket his goals narrowly for motivational reasons. Goals motivate because they serve as reference points that make substandard performance psychologically painful. A broad goal allows high performance in one task to compensate for low performance in the other. This partially insures against the risk of falling short of ones' goal(s), but creates incentives to shirk in one of the tasks. Narrow goals have a stronger motivational force and thus can be optimal. In particular, if one task outcome becomes known before working on the second task, narrow bracketing is always optimal.
Subjects:Goals
multiple tasks
motivational bracketing
self-control
time inconsistency
psychology
JEL:A12
C70
D91
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-20091015819
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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