Impulsivity pp 227-267 | Cite as

Toward Narrative Theory: Interventions for Reinforcer Pathology in Health Behavior

  • Warren K. Bickel
  • Jeffrey S. Stein
  • Lara N. Moody
  • Sarah E. Snider
  • Alexandra M. Mellis
  • Amanda J. Quisenberry
Part of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation book series (NSM, volume 64)


Reinforcer pathology describes the interaction between excessive devaluation of delayed rewards and excessive valuation of commodities such as drugs or food. In isolation, both components of reinforcer pathology increase risk for substance-use disorders and other maladaptive health behaviors (e.g., poor diet); in combination, these components synergistically increase risk. In this chapter, we review evidence that reinforcer pathology may arise from imbalance between two competing neurobehavioral decision systems (CNDS)—the impulsive system, comprising the limbic and paralimbic brain regions, and the executive system, comprising the prefrontal and parietal cortices. To correct imbalance between these systems and restore normative decision making, we introduce narrative theory, a novel intervention framework that seeks to harness humans’ unique sensitivity to language and storytelling in order to both understand and potentially treat the maladaptive decision making observed in addiction and other maladaptive health behaviors. We provide both an overview of methods used in investigations of narrative theory and a summary of effects of these methods on both discounting of delayed rewards and valuation of commodities that may damage health, such as drugs and energy-dense food.


Temporal discounting Demand Reinforcement Addiction Health behavior Narratives 



The preparation of this chapter was, in part, supported financially by NIH grants 4R01AA021529, 5U19CA157345, 1P01CA200512, 4R01DA034755, and 5UH2DK109543, awarded to the first author (W.K.B.).


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amlung, M., & MacKillop, J. (2015). Further evidence of close correspondence for alcohol demand decision making for hypothetical and incentivized rewards. Behavioural Processes, 113, 187–191.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amlung, M., Petker, T., Jackson, J., & Balodis, I. (2016a). Steep discounting of delayed monetary and food rewards in obesity: A meta-analysis. Psychological Medicine, 46, 2423–2434.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amlung, M. T., Acker, J., Stojek, M. K., Murphy, J. G., & MacKillop, J. (2012). Is talk “cheap”? An initial investigation of the equivalence of alcohol purchase task performance for hypothetical and actual rewards. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 36(4), 716–724.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Amlung, M., Vedelago, L., Acker, J., Balodis, I., & MacKillop, J. (2016b). Steep delay discounting and addictive behavior: A meta-analysis of continuous associations. Addiction (in press).Google Scholar
  6. Appelhans, B. M., Waring, M. E., Schneider, K. L., Pagoto, S. L., DeBiasse, M. A., Debiasse, M. A., et al. (2012). Delay discounting and intake of ready-to-eat and away-from-home foods in overweight and obese women. Appetite, 59(2), 576–584.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Atance, C. M., & O’Neill, D. K. (2001). Episodic future thinking. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 5(12), 533–539.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Axon, R. N., Bradford, W. D., & Egan, B. M. (2009). The role of individual time preferences in health behaviors among hypertensive adults: A pilot study. Journal of the American Society of Hypertension, 3(1), 35–41.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Baker, F., Johnson, M. W., & Bickel, W. K. (2003). Delay discounting in current and never-before cigarette smokers: Similarities and differences across commodity, sign, and magnitude. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112(3), 382–392.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Baumeister, R. F., Zhang, L., & Vohs, K. D. (2004). Gossip as cultural learning. Review of General Psychology, 8(2), 111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bechara, A. (2005). Decision making, impulse control and loss of willpower to resist drugs: A neurocognitive perspective. Nature Neuroscience, 8(11), 1458–1463.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bell, D. E. (1982). Regret in decision making under uncertainty. Operations Research, 30, 961–981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Benoit, R. G., Gilbert, S. J., & Burgess, P. W. (2011). A neural mechanism mediating the impact of episodic prospection on farsighted decisions. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(18), 6771–6779.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bernheim, B. D., & Rangel, A. (2002). Addiction and cue-conditioned cognitive processes (No. w9329). Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Best, J. R., Theim, K. R., Gredysa, D. M., Stein, R. I., Welch, R. R., Saelens, B. E., et al. (2012). Behavioral economic predictors of overweight children’s weight loss. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80(6), 1086–1096.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bickel, W. K., Johnson, M. W., Koffarnus, M. N., MacKillop, J., & Murphy, J. G. (2014a). The behavioral economics of substance use disorders: Reinforcement pathologies and their repair. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 10, 641–677.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bickel, W. K., Landes, R. D., Christensen, D. R., Jackson, L., Jones, B. A., Kurth-Nelson, Z., et al. (2011). Single- and cross-commodity discounting among cocaine addicts: The commodity and its temporal location determine discounting rate. Psychopharmacology (Berlin), 217(2), 177–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Bickel, W. K., Landes, R. D., & Kurth-Nelson, Z. (2014b). A quantitative signature of self-control repair rate-dependent effects of successful addiction treatment. Clinical Psychological Science, 2(6), 685–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Bickel, W. K., & Marsch, L. A. (2001). Toward a behavioral economic understanding of drug dependence: Delay discounting processes. Addiction, 96(1), 73–86.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Bickel, W. K., Mellis, A. M., Snider, S. E., Moody, L., Stein, J. S., & Quisenberry, A. J. (2016a). Novel Therapeutics for Addiction: Behavioral Economic and Neuroeconomic Approaches. Current treatment options in psychiatry, 3(3), 277–292.Google Scholar
  21. Bickel, W. K., Miller, M. L., Yi, R., Kowal, B. P., Lindquist, D. M., & Pitcock, J. A. (2007). Behavioral and neuroeconomics of drug addiction: Competing neural systems and temporal discounting processes. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 90(Suppl 1), S85–S91.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Bickel, W. K., Moody, L., Quisenberry, A. J., Ramey, C. T., & Sheffer, C. E. (2014c). A competing neurobehavioral decision systems model of SES-related health and behavioral disparities. Preventive Medicine, 68, 37–43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Bickel, W. K., Moody, L., Snider, S., Mellis, A., Stein, J., & Quisenberry, A. (2017). The behavioural economics of tobacco products: Innovations in laboratory methods to inform regulatory science. In Y. Hanoch & T. Rice (Eds.), Behavioral economics and health behaviors: Key concepts and current research (in press).Google Scholar
  24. Bickel, W. K., & Mueller, E. T. (2009). Toward the study of trans-disease processes: A novel approach with special reference to the study of co-morbidity. Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 5(2), 131–138.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Bickel, W. K., Odum, A. L., & Madden, G. J. (1999). Impulsivity and cigarette smoking: Delay discounting in current, never, and ex-smokers. Psychopharmacology (Berlin), 146(4), 447–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Bickel, W. K., Quisenberry, A. J., & Snider, S. E. (2016b). Does impulsivity change rate dependently following stimulant administration? A translational selective review and re-analysis. Psychopharmacology, 233(1), 1–18.Google Scholar
  27. Bickel, W. K., Snider, S. E., Quisenberry, A. J., Stein, J. S., & Hanlon, C. A. (2016c). Competing neurobehavioral decision systems theory of cocaine addiction: From mechanisms to therapeutic opportunities. Progress in brain research, 223, 269–293.Google Scholar
  28. Bickel, W. K., & Stein, J. S. (under review). Self-control and its failure: Intertemporal dimensions of health behavior.Google Scholar
  29. Bickel, W. K., Wilson, A. G., Chen, C., Koffarnus, M. N., & Franck, C. T. (2016d). Stuck in time: negative income shock constricts the temporal window of valuation spanning the future and the past. PloS one, 11(9), e0163051.Google Scholar
  30. Bradford, D., Courtemanche, C., Heutel, G., McAlvanah, P., & Ruhm, C. (2014). Time preferences and consumer behavior (No. w20320). Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Bradford, W. D. (2010). The association between individual time preferences and health maintenance habits. Medical Decision Making, 30(1), 99–112.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Bromberg, U., Wiehler, A., & Peters, J. (2015). Episodic future thinking is related to impulsive decision making in healthy adolescents. Child Development, 86(5), 1458–1468.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Celio, M. A., MacKillop, J., & Caswell, A. J. (2016). Interactive relationships between sex-related alcohol expectancies and delay discounting on risky sex. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 40(3), 638–646.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Chabris, C. F., Laibson, D., Morris, C. L., Schuldt, J. P., & Taubinsky, D. (2008). Individual laboratory-measured discount rates predict field behavior. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 37(2–3), 237–269.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Chanraud, S., Martelli, C., Delain, F., Kostogianni, N., Douaud, G., Aubin, H.-J., et al. (2007). Brain morphometry and cognitive performance in detoxified alcohol-dependents with preserved psychosocial functioning. Neuropsychopharmacology, 32(2), 429–438.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Chapman, G. B., Brewer, N. T., Coups, E. J., Brownlee, S., Leventhal, H., & Leventhal, E. A. (2001). Value for the future and preventive health behavior. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 7(3), 235–250.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Chapman, G. B., & Coups, E. J. (1999). Time preferences and preventive health behavior acceptance of the influenza vaccine. Medical Decision Making, 19(3), 307–314.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Chesson, H. W., Leichliter, J. S., Zimet, G. D., Rosenthal, S. L., Bernstein, D. I., & Fife, K. H. (2006). Discount rates and risky sexual behaviors among teenagers and young adults. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 32(3), 217–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Coffey, S. F., Gudleski, G. D., Saladin, M. E., & Brady, K. T. (2003). Impulsivity and rapid discounting of delayed hypothetical rewards in cocaine-dependent individuals. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 11(1), 18–25.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Cole, D. M., Beckmann, C. F., Long, C. J., Matthews, P. M., Durcan, M. J., & Beaver, J. D. (2010). Nicotine replacement in abstinent smokers improves cognitive withdrawal symptoms with modulation of resting brain network dynamics. Neuroimage, 52(2), 590–599.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Crocq, M.-A. (2007). Historical and cultural aspects of man’s relationship with addictive drugs. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 9(4), 355–361.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  42. Daly, M., Harmon, C. P., & Delaney, L. (2009). Psychological and biological foundations of time preference. Journal of the European Economic Association, 7(2–3), 659–669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Damasio, A. R., Everitt, B. J., & Bishop, D. (1996). The somatic marker hypothesis and the possible functions of the prefrontal cortex. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 351(1346), 1413–1420.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Daniel, T. O., Said, M., Stanton, C. M., & Epstein, L. H. (2015). Episodic future thinking reduces delay discounting and energy intake in children. Eating Behaviors, 18, 20–24.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Daniel, T. O., Sawyer, A., Dong, Y., Bickel, W. K., & Epstein, L. H. (2016). Remembering versus imagining: When does episodic retrospection and episodic prospection aid decision making? Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 5(3), 352–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Daniel, T. O., Stanton, C. M., & Epstein, L. H. (2013a). The future is now: Comparing the effect of episodic future thinking on impulsivity in lean and obese individuals. Appetite, 71, 120–125.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Daniel, T. O., Stanton, C. M., & Epstein, L. H. (2013b). The future is now: Reducing impulsivity and energy intake using episodic future thinking. Psychological Science, 24(11), 2339–2342.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Dassen, F. C. M., Jansen, A., Nederkoorn, C., & Houben, K. (2016). Focus on the future: Episodic future thinking reduces discount rate and snacking. Appetite, 96, 327–332.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Daugherty, J. R., & Brase, G. L. (2010). Taking time to be healthy: Predicting health behaviors with delay discounting and time perspective. Personality and Individual Differences, 48(2), 202–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Davis, C., Patte, K., Curtis, C., & Reid, C. (2010). Immediate pleasures and future consequences: A neuropsychological study of binge eating and obesity. Appetite, 54(1), 208–213.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Decker, J. H., Figner, B., & Steinglass, J. E. (2015). On weight and waiting: Delay discounting in anorexia nervosa pretreatment and posttreatment. Biological Psychiatry, 78(9), 606–614.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. DeGrandpre, R. J., Bickel, W. K., Hughes, J. R., Layng, M. P., & Badger, G. (1993). Unit price as a useful metric in analyzing effects of reinforcer magnitude. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 60(3), 641–666.Google Scholar
  53. Dixon, M. R., Buono, F. D., & Belisle, J. (2016). Contrived motivating operations alter delay-discounting values of disordered gamblers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 49(4), 986–990.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Dixon, M. R., Marley, J., & Jacobs, E. A. (2003). Delay discounting by pathological gamblers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36(4), 449–458.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Dunbar, R. I. (1998). The social brain hypothesis. Evolutionary Anthropology, 6(5), 178–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Dunbar, R. I. M. (1992). Neocortex size as a constraint on group size in primates. Journal of Human Evolution, 22(6), 469–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Dunbar, R. I. M. (2004). Gossip in evolutionary perspective. Review of General Psychology, 8(2), 100–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Dunbar, R. I. M., & Shultz, S. (2007). Evolution in the social brain. Science, 317(5843), 1344–1347.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Du, W., Green, L., & Myerson, J. (2002). Cross-cultural comparisons of discounting delayed and probabilistic rewards. The Psychological Record, 52(4), 479.Google Scholar
  60. Epstein, L. H., Salvy, S. J., Carr, K. A., Dearing, K. K., & Bickel, W. K. (2010). Food reinforcement, delay discounting and obesity. Physiology & Behavior, 100(5), 438–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Evans, J. A. (2008). Electronic publication and the narrowing of science and scholarship. Science, 321(5887), 395–399.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Fein, G., Di Sclafani, V., Cardenas, V. A., Goldmann, H., Tolou-Shams, M., & Meyerhoff, D. J. (2002). Cortical gray matter loss in treatment-naïve alcohol dependent individuals. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 26(4), 558–564.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  63. Franck, C. T., Koffarnus, M. N., House, L. L., & Bickel, W. K. (2015). Accurate characterization of delay discounting: A multiple model approach using approximate Bayesian model selection and a unified discounting measure. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 103(1), 218–233.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Frederick, S. (2002). Automated choice heuristics. In T. Gilovich, D. Griffin, & D. Kahneman (Eds.), Heuristics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment (pp. 548–558). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Fudenberg, D., & Levine, D. K. (2006). A dual-self model of impulse control. The American Economic Review, 96(5), 1449–1476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Garza, K. B., Ding, M., Owensby, J. K., & Zizza, C. A. (2016). Impulsivity and fast-food consumption: A cross-sectional study among working adults. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 116(1), 61–68.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Gazzaniga, M. S. (1998). The mind’s past. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  68. Giesen, J. C. A. H., Havermans, R. C., Douven, A., Tekelenburg, M., & Jansen, A. (2010). Will work for snack food: The association of BMI and snack reinforcement. Obesity, 18(5), 966–970.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Gilovich, T. (1994). The temporal pattern to the experience of regret. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(3), 357–365.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Gilovich, T., & Medvec, V. H. (1995). The experience of regret: What, when, and why. Psychological Review, 102(2), 379–395.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Goldstein, R. Z., & Volkow, N. D. (2011). Dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex in addiction: Neuroimaging findings and clinical implications. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 12(11), 652–669.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Gottschall, J. (2012). The storytelling animal: How stories make us human. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.Google Scholar
  73. Griskevicius, V., Tybur, J. M., Delton, A. W., & Robertson, T. E. (2011). The influence of mortality and socioeconomic status on risk and delayed rewards: A life history theory approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(6), 1015–1026.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Haushofer, J., & Fehr, E. (2014). On the psychology of poverty. Science, 344(6186), 862–867.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Haushofer, J., Schunk, D., & Fehr, E. (2013). Negative income shocks increase discount rates. Zurich: University of Zurich. (Working Paper).Google Scholar
  76. Hayashi, Y., Miller, K., Foreman, A. M., & Wirth, O. (2016). A behavioral economic analysis of texting while driving: Delay discounting processes. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 97, 132–140.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Hayashi, Y., Russo, C. T., & Wirth, O. (2015). Texting while driving as impulsive choice: A behavioral economic analysis. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 83, 182–189.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Heerey, E. A., Robinson, B. M., McMahon, R. P., & Gold, J. M. (2007). Delay discounting in schizophrenia. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 12(3), 213–221.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Heider, F., & Simmel, M. (1944). An experimental study of apparent behavior. The American Journal of Psychology, 57(2), 243–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Heitzeg, M. M., Nigg, J. T., Yau, W.-Y. W., Zubieta, J.-K., & Zucker, R. A. (2008). Affective circuitry and risk for alcoholism in late adolescence: Differences in frontostriatal responses between vulnerable and resilient children of alcoholic parents. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 32(3), 414–426.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Hursh, S. R., & Silberberg, A. (2008). Economic demand and essential value. Psychological Review, 115(1), 186–198.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Hurst, R. M., Kepley, H. O., McCalla, M. K., & Livermore, M. K. (2011). Internal consistency and discriminant validity of a delay-discounting task with an adult self-reported ADHD sample. Journal of Attention Disorders, 15(5), 412–422.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Huth, A. G., de Heer, W. A., Griffiths, T. L., Theunissen, F. E., & Gallant, J. L. (2016). Natural speech reveals the semantic maps that tile human cerebral cortex. Nature, 532(7600), 453–458.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Insel, T., Cuthbert, B., Garvey, M., Heinssen, R., Pine, D. S., Quinn, K., et al. (2010). Research domain criteria (RDoC): Toward a new classification framework for research on mental disorders. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 167(7), 748–751.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Johnson, M. W., Bickel, W. K., Baker, F., Moore, B. A., Badger, G. J., & Budney, A. J. (2010). Delay discounting in current and former marijuana-dependent individuals. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 18(1), 99–107.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Johnson, M. W., & Bruner, N. R. (2012). The sexual discounting task: HIV risk behavior and the discounting of delayed sexual rewards in cocaine dependence. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 123, 15–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Johnson, M. W., & Bruner, N. R. (2013). Test-retest reliability and gender differences in the sexual discounting task among cocaine-dependent individuals. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 21(4), 997–1003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  89. Kahneman, D., & Frederick, S. (2002). Representativeness revisited: Attribute substitution in intuitive judgment. In T. Gilovich, D. Griffin, & D. Kahneman (Eds.), Heuristics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment (pp. 49–81). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Kaplan, B. A., Reed, D. D., & Jarmolowicz, D. P. (2015). Effects of episodic future thinking on discounting: Personalized age-progressed pictures improve risky long-term health decisions. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 49, 148–169.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Kekic, M., Bartholdy, S., Cheng, J., McClelland, J., Boysen, E., Musiat, P., et al. (2016). Increased temporal discounting in bulimia nervosa. The International Journal of Eating Disorders (in press).Google Scholar
  92. Killeen, P. R. (2009). An additive-utility model of delay discounting. Psychological Review, 116(3), 602–619.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. King, J. A., Geisler, D., Bernardoni, F., Ritschel, F., Böhm, I., Seidel, M., et al. (2016). Altered neural efficiency of decision making during temporal reward discounting in anorexia nervosa. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(11), 972–979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Kirby, K. N. (1997). Bidding on the future: Evidence against normative discounting of delayed rewards. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 126(1), 54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Koffarnus, M. N., & Bickel, W. K. (2014). A 5-trial adjusting delay discounting task: Accurate discount rates in less than one minute. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 22(3), 222–228.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Koffarnus, M. N., Franck, C. T., Stein, J. S., & Bickel, W. K. (2015). A modified exponential behavioral economic demand model to better describe consumption data. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 23(6), 504–512.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Krosch, A. R., & Amodio, D. M. (2014). Economic scarcity alters the perception of race. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), 111(25), 9079–9084.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Kwan, D., Craver, C. F., Green, L., Myerson, J., Gao, F., Black, S. E., et al. (2015). Cueing the personal future to reduce discounting in intertemporal choice: Is episodic prospection necessary? Hippocampus, 25(4), 432–443.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Kwan, D., Craver, C. F., Green, L., Myerson, J., & Rosenbaum, R. S. (2013). Dissociations in future thinking following hippocampal damage: Evidence from discounting and time perspective in episodic amnesia. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142(4), 1355–1369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Lebeau, G., Consoli, S. M., Le Bouc, R., Sola-Gazagnes, A., Hartemann, A., Simon, D., et al. (2016). Delay discounting of gains and losses, glycemic control and therapeutic adherence in type 2 diabetes. Behavioural Processes, 132, 42–48.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Lin, H., & Epstein, L. H. (2014). Living in the moment: Effects of time perspective and emotional valence of episodic thinking on delay discounting. Behavioral Neuroscience, 128(1), 12–19.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Liu, L., Feng, T., Chen, J., & Li, H. (2013). The value of emotion: How does episodic prospection modulate delay discounting? PLoS ONE, 8(11), e81717.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Liu, W.-H., Roiser, J. P., Wang, L.-Z., Zhu, Y.-H., Huang, J., Neumann, D. L., et al. (2016). Anhedonia is associated with blunted reward sensitivity in first-degree relatives of patients with major depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 190, 640–648.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Loomes, G., & Sugden, R. (1982). Regret theory: An alternative theory of rational choice under uncertainty. The Economic Journal of Nepal, 92(368), 805–824.Google Scholar
  105. Lu, Q., Tao, F., Hou, F., Zhang, Z., Sun, Y., Xu, Y., et al. (2014). Cortisol reactivity, delay discounting and percent body fat in Chinese urban young adolescents. Appetite, 72, 13–20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Mach, E., & McCormack, T. J. (1907). The science of mechanics: A critical and historical exposition of its principles. Chicago: Open Court Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  107. MacKillop, J., Amlung, M. T., Few, L. R., Ray, L. A., Sweet, L. H., & Munafò, M. R. (2011). Delayed reward discounting and addictive behavior: A meta-analysis. Psychopharmacology (Berlin), 216(3), 305–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. MacKillop, J., & Tidey, J. W. (2011). Cigarette demand and delayed reward discounting in nicotine-dependent individuals with schizophrenia and controls: An initial study. Psychopharmacology (Berlin), 216(1), 91–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  109. Madden, G. J., & Johnson, P. S. (2010). A delay-discounting primer. In G. J. Madden & W. K. Bickel (Eds.), Impulsivity: The behavioral and neurological science of discounting (pp. 11–37). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Madden, G. J., Petry, N. M., Badger, G. J., & Bickel, W. K. (1997). Impulsive and self-control choices in opioid-dependent patients and non-drug-using control patients: Drug and monetary rewards. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 5(3), 256.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Mani, A., Mullainathan, S., Shafir, E., & Zhao, J. (2013). Poverty impedes cognitive function. Science, 341(6149), 976–980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  112. Mar, R. A. (2004). The neuropsychology of narrative: Story comprehension, story production and their interrelation. Neuropsychologia, 42(10), 1414–1434.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  113. 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 analysis of behavior: Vol. 5. The effect of delay and of intervening events of reinforcement value. (pp. 55–73). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  114. McClure, S. M., Laibson, D. I., Loewenstein, G., & Cohen, J. D. (2004). Separate neural systems value immediate and delayed monetary rewards. Science, 306(5695), 503–507.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  115. Medina, K. L., McQueeny, T., Nagel, B. J., Hanson, K. L., Schweinsburg, A. D., & Tapert, S. F. (2008). Prefrontal cortex volumes in adolescents with alcohol use disorders: Unique gender effects. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 32(3), 386–394.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  116. Medina, K. L., McQueeny, T., Nagel, B. J., Hanson, K. L., Yang, T. T., & Tapert, S. F. (2009). Prefrontal cortex morphometry in abstinent adolescent marijuana users: Subtle gender effects. Addiction Biology, 14(4), 457–468.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Metcalfe, J., & Mischel, W. (1999). A hot/cool-system analysis of delay of gratification: Dynamics of willpower. Psychological Review, 106(1), 3–19.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  118. Miedl, S. F., Peters, J., & Büchel, C. (2012). Altered neural reward representations in pathological gamblers revealed by delay and probability discounting. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69(2), 177–186.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  119. Mitchell, S. D. (2009). Unsimple truths: Science, complexity, and policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  120. Mitchell, S. H. (1999). Measures of impulsivity in cigarette smokers and non-smokers. Psychopharmacology (Berlin), 146(4), 455–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  121. Moallem, N. R., & Ray, L. A. (2012). Dimensions of impulsivity among heavy drinkers, smokers, and heavy drinking smokers: Singular and combined effects. Addictive Behaviors, 37(7), 871–874.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  122. Moody, L., Franck, C., Hatz, L., & Bickel, W. K. (2016). Impulsivity and polysubstance use: A systematic comparison of delay discounting in Mono-, Dual-, and Trisubstance use. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 24(1), 30–37.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  123. Negash, S., Sheppard, N. V. N., Lambert, N. M., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Trading later rewards for current pleasure: Pornography consumption and delay discounting. Journal of Sex Research, 53(6), 689–700.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  124. Nummenmaa, L., Saarimäki, H., Glerean, E., Gotsopoulos, A., Jääskeläinen, I. P., Hari, R., et al. (2014). Emotional speech synchronizes brains across listeners and engages large-scale dynamic brain networks. NeuroImage, 102, 498–509.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  125. Odum, A. L. (2011). Delay discounting: I’m ak, you’re ak. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 96(3), 427–439.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  126. Odum, A. L., Madden, G. J., Badger, G. J., & Bickel, W. K. (2000). Needle sharing in opioid-dependent outpatients: Psychological processes underlying risk. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 60(3), 259–266.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  127. O’Neill, J., Daniel, T. O., & Epstein, L. H. (2016). Episodic future thinking reduces eating in a food court. Eating Behaviors, 20, 9–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  128. Paloyelis, Y., Asherson, P., Mehta, M. A., Faraone, S. V., & Kuntsi, J. (2010). DAT1 and COMT effects on delay discounting and trait impulsivity in male adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and healthy controls. Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(12), 2414–2426.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  129. Peters, J., & Büchel, C. (2010). Episodic future thinking reduces reward delay discounting through an enhancement of prefrontal-mediotemporal interactions. Neuron, 66(1), 138–148.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  130. Petry, N. M. (2001a). Delay discounting of money and alcohol in actively using alcoholics, currently abstinent alcoholics, and controls. Psychopharmacology (Berlin), 154(3), 243–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  131. Petry, N. M. (2001b). Pathological gamblers, with and without substance abuse disorders, discount delayed rewards at high rates. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110(3), 482.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  132. Petry, N. M., Bickel, W. K., & Arnett, M. (1998). Shortened time horizons and insensitivity to future consequences in heroin addicts. Addiction, 93(5), 72973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  133. Petry, N. M., & Casarella, T. (1999). Excessive discounting of delayed rewards in substance abusers with gambling problems. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 56(1), 25–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  134. Pinto, A., Steinglass, J. E., Greene, A. L., Weber, E. U., & Simpson, H. B. (2014). Capacity to delay reward differentiates obsessive-compulsive disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 75(8), 653–659.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  135. Quisenberry, A. J., Eddy, C. R., Patterson, D. L., Franck, C. T., & Bickel, W. K. (2015a). Regret expression and social learning increases delay to sexual gratification. PLoS ONE, 10(8), e0135977.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  136. Quisenberry, A. J., Koffarnus, M. N., Hatz, L. E., Epstein, L. H., & Bickel, W. K. (2015b). The experimental tobacco marketplace I: Substitutability as a function of the price of conventional cigarettes. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 18(7), 1642–1648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  137. Rachlin, H., & Jones, B. A. (2008). Social discounting and delay discounting. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 21(1), 29–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  138. Rachlin, H., Raineri, A., & Cross, D. (1991). Subjective probability and delay. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 55(2), 233–244.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  139. Rahimi-Golkhandan, S., Garavito, D. M. N., Reyna-Brainerd, B. B., & Reyna, V. F. (2017). A fuzzy-trace theory of risk and time preferences in decision making: Integrating cognition and motivation. In J. R. Stevens (Ed.), Impulsivity, Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  140. Rasmussen, E. B., Lawyer, S. R., & Reilly, W. (2010). Percent body fat is related to delay and probability discounting for food in humans. Behavioural Processes, 83(1), 23–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  141. Reach, G., Michault, A., Bihan, H., Paulino, C., Cohen, R., & Le Clésiau, H. (2011). Patients’ impatience is an independent determinant of poor diabetes control. Diabetes & Metabolism, 37(6), 497–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  142. Reed, D. D. (2015). Ultra-violet indoor tanning addiction: A reinforcer pathology interpretation. Addictive Behaviors, 41, 247–251.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  143. Reimers, S., Maylor, E. A., Stewart, N., & Chater, N. (2009). Associations between a one-shot delay discounting measure and age, income, education and real-world impulsive behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(8), 973–978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  144. Reyna, V. F., & Brainerd, C. J. (1995). Fuzzy-trace theory: An interim synthesis. Learning and Individual Differences, 7, 1–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  145. Reynolds, B., Richards, J. B., Horn, K., & Karraker, K. (2004). Delay discounting and probability discounting as related to cigarette smoking status in adults. Behavioural Processes, 65(1), 35–42.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  146. Richards, J. B., Mitchell, S. H., de Wit, H., & Seiden, L. S. (1997). Determination of discount functions in rats with an adjusting-amount procedure. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 67(3), 353–366.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  147. Ritschel, F., King, J. A., Geisler, D., Flohr, L., Neidel, F., Boehm, I., et al. (2015). Temporal delay discounting in acutely ill and weight-recovered patients with anorexia nervosa. Psychological Medicine, 45(6), 1229–1239.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  148. Robbins, T. W., & Dalley, J. W. (in press). Dissecting impulsivity: Brain mechanisms and neuropsychiatric implications. In J. Stephens (Ed.), Impulsivity: How time and risk influence decision-making. New York: Springer. Google Scholar
  149. Rollins, B. Y., Dearing, K. K., & Epstein, L. H. (2010). Delay discounting moderates the effect of food reinforcement on energy intake among non-obese women. Appetite, 55(3), 420–425.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  150. Scheres, A., Dijkstra, M., Ainslie, E., Balkan, J., Reynolds, B., Sonuga-Barke, E., et al. (2006). Temporal and probabilistic discounting of rewards in children and adolescents: Effects of age and ADHD symptoms. Neuropsychologia, 44(11), 2092–2103.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  151. Scheres, A., Lee, A., & Sumiya, M. (2008). Temporal reward discounting and ADHD: Task and symptom specific effects. Journal of Neural Transmission, 115(2), 221–226.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  152. Schneider, W., & Shiffrin, R. M. (1977). Controlled and automatic human information processing: I. Detection, search, and attention. Psychological Review, 84(1), 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  153. Shah, A. K., Mullainathan, S., & Shafir, E. (2012). Some consequences of having too little. Science, 338, 682–685.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  154. Shefrin, H. M., & Thaler, R. (1977). An economic theory of self-control (No. w20320). Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  155. Skurvydas, A. (2005). New methodology in biomedical science: Methodological errors in classical science. Medicina, 41(1), 7–16.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  156. Snider, S. E., LaConte, S. M., & Bickel, W. K. (2016a). Episodic future thinking: Expansion of the temporal window in individuals with alcohol dependence. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 40(7), 1558–1566.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  157. Snider, S. E., Quisenberry, A. J., & Bickel, W. K. (2016b). Order in the absence of an effect: Identifying rate-dependent relationships. Behavioural Processes, 127, 18–24.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  158. Steinglass, J. E., Figner, B., Berkowitz, S., Simpson, H. B., Weber, E. U., & Walsh, B. T. (2012). Increased capacity to delay reward in anorexia nervosa. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 18(4), 773–780.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  159. Stein, J. S., & Bickel, W. K. (unpublished data). Effects of episodic future thinking on cigarette demand in smokers.Google Scholar
  160. Stein, J. S., Wilson, A. G., Koffarnus, M. N., Daniel, T. O., Epstein, L. H., & Bickel, W. K. (2016). Unstuck in time: Episodic future thinking reduces delay discounting and cigarette smoking. Psychopharmacology (Berlin), 233, 3771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  161. Stoltman, J. J. K., Woodcock, E. A., Lister, J. J., Lundahl, L. H., & Greenwald, M. K. (2015). Heroin delay discounting: Modulation by pharmacological state, drug-use impulsivity, and intelligence. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 23(6), 455–463.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  162. Strange, K. (2005). The end of “naive reductionism”: Rise of systems biology or renaissance of physiology? American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology, 288(5), C968–C974.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  163. Sze, Y. Y., Daniel, T. O., Kilanowski, C. K., Collins, R. L., & Epstein, L. H. (2015). Web-based and mobile delivery of an episodic future thinking intervention for overweight and obese families: A feasibility study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 3(4), e97.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  164. Sze, Y. Y., Stein, J. S., Bickel, W. K., Paluch, R. A., & Epstein, L. A. (under review). Bleak present, bright future: Combined effects of negative income shock and episodic future thinking on delay discounting and food demand in an online sample.Google Scholar
  165. Uher, R., Murphy, T., Brammer, M. J., Dalgleish, T., Phillips, M. L., Ng, V. W., et al. (2004). Medial prefrontal cortex activity associated with symptom provocation in eating disorders. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 161(7), 1238–1246.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  166. Vuchinich, R. E., & Simpson, C. A. (1998). Hyperbolic temporal discounting in social drinkers and problem drinkers. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 6(3), 292–305.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  167. Wang, W., Wang, Y.-R., Qin, W., Yuan, K., Tian, J., Li, Q., et al. (2010). Changes in functional connectivity of ventral anterior cingulate cortex in heroin abusers. Chinese Medical Journal, 123(12), 1582–1588.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  168. Weller, R. E., Cook, E. W., 3rd, Avsar, K. B., & Cox, J. E. (2008). Obese women show greater delay discounting than healthy-weight women. Appetite, 51(3), 563–569.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  169. Wiehler, A., Bromberg, U., & Peters, J. (2015). The role of prospection in steep temporal reward discounting in gambling addiction. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 6, 112.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  170. Wilson, A. G., Franck, C. T., Koffarnus, M. N., & Bickel, W. K. (2016). Behavioral economics of cigarette purchase tasks: Within-subject comparison of real, potentially real, and hypothetical cigarettes. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 18(5), 524–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  171. Wilson, V. B., Mitchell, S. H., Musser, E. D., Schmitt, C. F., & Nigg, J. T. (2011). Delay discounting of reward in ADHD: Application in young children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 52(3), 256–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  172. Wing, V. C., Moss, T. G., Rabin, R. A., & George, T. P. (2012). Effects of cigarette smoking status on delay discounting in schizophrenia and healthy controls. Addictive Behaviors, 37(1), 67–72.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  173. Woolf, S. H., Aron, L., et al. (2013). U.S. health in international perspective: Shorter lives, poorer health. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  174. Yi, R., de la Piedad, X., & Bickel, W. K. (2006a). The combined effects of delay and probability in discounting. Behavioural Processes, 73(2), 149–155.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  175. Yi, R., Gatchalian, K. M., & Bickel, W. K. (2006b). Discounting of past outcomes. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 14(3), 311–317.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  176. Yi, R., Pickover, A., Stuppy-Sullivan, A. M., Baker, S., & Landes, R. D. (2016). Impact of episodic thinking on altruism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 65, 74–81.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  177. Yoon, J. H., & Higgins, S. T. (2008). Turning k on its head: Comments on use of an ED50 in delay discounting research. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 95(1–2), 169–172.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  178. Yuan, K., Qin, W., Dong, M., Liu, J., Liu, P., Zhang, Y., et al. (2010). Combining spatial and temporal information to explore resting-state networks changes in abstinent heroin-dependent individuals. Neuroscience Letters, 475(1), 20–24.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  179. Zeelenberg, M., & Pieters, R. (2004). Consequences of regret aversion in real life: The case of the Dutch postcode lottery. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 93(2), 155–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warren K. Bickel
    • 1
  • Jeffrey S. Stein
    • 1
  • Lara N. Moody
    • 1
  • Sarah E. Snider
    • 1
  • Alexandra M. Mellis
    • 1
  • Amanda J. Quisenberry
    • 1
  1. 1.Virginia Tech Carilion Research InstituteRoanokeUSA

Personalised recommendations