Keywords

Self-defeating behaviors, Theory, Experiment

Abstract

Why do individuals engage in self-defeating behaviors like self-harm, addiction, and risky sexual behaviors? Why do they experience the apathy of depression or inaction when trapped by multiple competing problems? We propose a framework for explaining these and other related behaviors based on the insight that individuals can only experience a limited number of latent stimuli to which they are exposed. We conduct an experiment to test this model and find that more than two thirds of the subjects behave consistent with our theoretical framework.

Original Publication Citation

“Rationalizing self-defeating behaviors: theory and evidence” (with Lars Lefgren and John Stovall). Journal of Health Economics, 76, 1-14, 2021.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2021

Publisher

Elsevier B.V.

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Economics

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor

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