Delayed reward and cost discounting


Participants (N = 28) chose between smaller, immediate and larger, delayed hypothetical monetary amounts in a cost and a reward condition. For both conditions, the choice procedure yielded equivalence points that measure the immediate amount reward or cost that is subjectively equivalent to the larger delayed reward or cost. Equivalence points from each of eight delays were used to estimate a discounting parameter for both hyperbolic and exponential discount functions. Hyperbolic functions accounted for more of the variance in both the reward and the cost condition, and delayed reward and cost discounting was significantly correlated. Participants discounted the value of delayed rewards to a greater degree than delayed costs. Previous research has found that substance abusers discount delayed rewards more than controls. Implications of the present findings for substance abuse and other health behaviors are discussed.

Publication Title

Psychological Record

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