Todd Rogers: Future Lock-in

Mike interviews Todd Rogers about a series of laboratory experiments he and co-author Max Bazerman performed on the future lock-in effect. They found that people are more likely to choose what they think they should when the decision will be implemented in the distant future. In contrast, when the decision will be implemented immediately, people are more likely to choose what they want, not what they think they should.

Todd Rogers

Todd Rogers ( ) recently received his PhD in Organizational Behavior and Psychology in a joint program between the Harvard Business School and Harvard University. He is currently the Executive Director of The Analyst Institute, a clearinghouse for evidence-based best practices in progressive voter contact that assists organizations in building testing into their voter contact efforts.

Recommended further readings:

  • Fujita, K., Trope, Y., Liberman, N., & Levin-Sagi, M. 2006. Construal levels and self-control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90: 351-367.
  • Milkman, K.M., Rogers, T., & Bazerman, M.H. In press. Harnessing our inner angels and demons: what we have learned about want/should conflicts and how that knowledge can help us reduce short-sighted decision making. Perspectives on Psychological Science.
  • Rogers, T & Bazerman, M.H. In press. Future lock-in: Future implementation increases selection of “~should’ choices. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
  • Schelling, T.C. 1978. Egonomics, or the art of self-management. The American Economic Review, 68: 290-294.
  • Thaler, R. H., & Benartzi, S. 2004. Save More Tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving. Journal of Political Economy, 112: S164-S187.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson is an Assistant Professor in Department of Management and Organization at the University of Washington. He can be reached via