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The Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption$
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Stephanie D. Preston, Morten L. Kringelbach, and Brian Knutson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027670

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027670.001.0001

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Tightwads, Spendthrifts, and the Pain of Paying: New Insights and Open Questions

Tightwads, Spendthrifts, and the Pain of Paying: New Insights and Open Questions

Chapter:
(p.147) 8 Tightwads, Spendthrifts, and the Pain of Paying: New Insights and Open Questions
Source:
The Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption
Author(s):

I. Rick Scott

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027670.003.0008

How do people control their spending? From the standard economic perspective, people avoid making a purchase if the opportunity cost of the good under consideration exceeds the benefits of buying the good. However, people appear to rely on emotional distress (a “pain of paying”) as a proxy for opportunity cost. Rick, Cryder, and Loewenstein (2008) found that some people (“tightwads”) chronically experience a high pain of paying and often spend less than they would ideally like to spend. Other people (“spendthrifts”) chronically experience an insufficient pain of paying and often spend more than they would ideally like to spend. This chapter reviews recent research into the pain of paying and tightwaddism, and considers several open questions.

Keywords:   Tightwadism, Opportunity cost, Emotional distress, Rick, Cryder, and Loewenstein

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