Delay-discounting probabilistic rewards: Rates decrease as amounts increase
- 5.7k Downloads
The independence of delay-discounting rate and monetary reward size was tested by offering subjects (N = 621) a series of choices between immediate rewards and larger, delayed rewards. In contrast to previous studies, in which hypothetical rewards have typically been employed, subjects in the present study were entered into a lottery in which they had a chance of actually receiving one of their choices. The delayed rewards were grouped into small ($30–$35), medium ($55–$65), and large amounts ($70–$85). Using a novel parameter estimation procedure, we estimated discounting rates for all three reward sizes for each subject on the basis of his/her pattern of choices. The data indicated that the discounting rate is a decreasing function of the size of the delayed reward (p < .0001), whether hyperbolic or exponential discounting functions are assumed. In addition, a reliable gender difference was found (p = .005), with males discounting at higher rates than females, on average.
KeywordsDiscount Rate Delay Discount Choice Trial Hyperbolic Discount Parameter Estimation Procedure
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Ainslie, G. (1992).Picoeconomics: The strategic interaction of successive motivational states within the person. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Green, L., Fisher, E. B., Perlow, S., &Sherman, L. (1981). Preference reversal and self-control: Choice as a function of reward amount and delay.Behaviour Analysis Letters,1, 43–51.Google Scholar
- Green, L., &Myerson, J. (1993). Alternative frameworks for the analysis of self-control.Behavior & Philosophy,21, 37–47.Google Scholar
- Herrnstein, R. J. (1981). Self-control as response strength. In C. M. Bradshaw, E. Szabadi, & C. F. Lowe (Eds.),Quantification of steadystate operant behavior (pp. 3–20). Amsterdam: Elsevier, North- Holland.Google Scholar
- Loewenstein, G. (1992). The fall and rise of psychological explanations in the economics of intertemporal choice. In G. Loewenstein & J. Elster (Eds.),Choice over time (pp. 3–34). New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
- Mazur, J. E. (1987). An adjusting procedure for studying delayed reinforcement. In M. L. Commons, J. E. Mazur, J. A. Nevin, & H. Rachlin (Eds.),Quantitative analyses of behavior: Vol. 5. The effect of delay and of intervening events on reinforcement value (pp. 55–73). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar