Automating Scoring of Delay Discounting for the 21- and 27-Item Monetary Choice Questionnaires


Delay discounting describes the process wherein rewards lose value as a function of their delayed receipt; how quickly rewards lose value is termed the rate of delay discounting. Rates of delay discounting are robust predictors of much behavior of societal importance. One efficient approach to obtaining a human subject’s rate of delay discounting is via the 21- and 27-item Monetary Choice Questionnaires, brief dichotomous choice tasks that assess preference between small immediate and larger delayed monetary outcomes. Unfortunately, the scoring procedures for the Monetary Choice Questionnaires are rather complex, which may serve as a barrier to their use. This report details a freely available Excel-based spreadsheet tool that automatically scores Monetary Choice Questionnaire response sets, using both traditional and contemporary/advanced approaches. An overview of the Monetary Choice Questionnaire and its scoring algorithm is provided. We conclude with general considerations for using the spreadsheet tool.

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  1. 1.

    Accordingly, this report is written for researchers familiar with delay discounting assessments. An introduction to delay discounting and its various assessments is beyond the scope of this report. Readers from other domains interested in learning more about delay discounting are encouraged to consult Madden & Bickel, 2010.

  2. 2.

    Accordingly, KU ScholarWorks provides static URLs; thus, the URL provided in this report will indefinitely serve as the source page for the tool.

  3. 3.

    By “true,” we mean an indifference point we would expect to obtain using a fine-grained titration procedure.

  4. 4.

    We know of no empirical work comparing inferences made from the geomean and overall k values; because different discounting researchers prefer one over the other, we offer both approaches to aggregate summaries of k to accommodate researchers’ personal preferences.


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Correspondence to Derek D. Reed.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

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Kaplan, B.A., Amlung, M., Reed, D.D. et al. Automating Scoring of Delay Discounting for the 21- and 27-Item Monetary Choice Questionnaires. BEHAV ANALYST 39, 293–304 (2016).

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  • Delay discounting
  • Impulsivity
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Monetary Choice Questionnaire
  • Software
  • Technology