This theoretical paper presents an incentive salience model of intertemporal choice. The model is a variation of the quasi-hyperbolic discounting model. Based on the distinction between wanting and liking, the paper presents one possible explanation of impulsive choices of smaller sooner rewards instead of larger later ones. These impulsive choices are induced by cues that trigger strong motivational wanting to obtain smaller sooner rewards, but do not necessarily influence the degree to which the rewards are liked. Cue-triggered wanting can occur when an individual is in a specific need deprivation state, perceives a cue previously associated with an immediately obtainable reward, knows that the cued reward can reduce the current deprivation state, and lacks self-control. By integrating cue-triggered wanting into an intertemporal choice model, the incentive salience model allows to predict which rewards elicit impulsive choices of smaller sooner rewards, thus offering an explanation for the domain effect.
Intertemporal Consumer Choice Impulsivity 'Wanting' versus 'Liking'