Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

2011 Edition
| Editors: Sam Goldstein, Jack A. Naglieri

Temporal Discounting

  • Derek D. Reed
  • James K. Luiselli
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_3162

Synonyms

Definition

The phenomenon in which the value of a reward decreases as the time delay until its receipt increases.

Description

Temporal discounting refers to the phenomenon in which the subjective value of some reward loses its magnitude when the given reward is delayed (see [2]). Similar to the notion of “delayed gratification,” relatively high degrees of discounting are synonymous with impulsivity. On the contrary, when individuals demonstrate a sustained interest and motivation in a delayed reward, they are said to have less discounting, and thereby more self-control. Temporal discounting may be measured via two assessment methods: (1) hypothetical choice trials or (2) choices with deliverable outcomes. During hypothetical choice trials, individuals are presented with the option between a hypothetical smaller sooner reward (e.g., $5 now) and some larger delayed alternative (e.g., $10 in a week). These hypothetical choices...

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References

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    Barkley, R. A., Edwards, G., Laneri, M., Fletcher, K., & Metevia, L. (2001). Executive functioning, temporal discounting, and sense of time in adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 29, 541–556.PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Critchfield, T. S., & Kollins, S. H. (2001). Temporal discounting: Basic research and the analysis of socially important behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34, 101–122.PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Dixon, M. R., Marley, J., & Jacobs, E. (2003). Delay discounting by pathological gamblers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36, 449–458.PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Green, L., Fry, A. F., & Myerson, J. (1994). Discounting of delayed rewards: A life-span comparison. Psychological Science, 5, 33–36.Google Scholar
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    Odum, A. L., Madden, G. J., Badger, G. J., & Bickel, W. K. (2000). Needle sharing in opiod-dependent outpatients: Psychological processes underlying risk. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 60, 259–266.PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Olson, E. A., Hooper, C. J., Collins, P., & Luciana, M. (2007). Adolescents’ performance on delay and probability discounting tasks: Contributions of age, intelligence, executive functioning, and self-reported externalizing behavior. Personality and Individual Difference, 43, 1886–1897.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek D. Reed
    • 1
  • James K. Luiselli
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Applied Behavioral Science4001 Dole Human Development Center, University of KansasLawrenceUSA
  2. 2.The May Institute, Inc.RandolphUSA