Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Delay and probability discounting refer to the decrease in subjective value of an outcome as the time until its occurrence increases and the likelihood of its occurrence decreases, respectively. Significant differences between the discounting of gains and losses, either delayed or probabilistic, have been documented in the literature. A recent study that investigated similarities and differences between the discounting of delayed gains, delayed losses, and probabilistic losses, found qualitative individual differences (i.e., subgroups) present only in the discounting of losses (Yeh et al., 2020). The current study expanded the previous investigation of subgroups to the discounting of probabilistic gains (Experiment 1) and examined to what extent the discounting of gains and losses, both delayed and probabilistic, are associated with everyday behaviors that involve delayed and/or probabilistic consequences (Experiment 2). Across two experiments, there was no evidence of subgroups either in the discounting of delayed gains or in the discounting of probabilistic gains, whereas a considerable number of individuals showed atypical discounting both in the discounting of delayed losses and in the discounting of probabilistic losses, consistent with the notion that subgroups were present only in the discounting of losses. Regarding the associations between degree of discounting and everyday behaviors that involve delayed and/or probabilistic consequences, only 2 out of 204 regression coefficients (4 types of discounting tasks x 51 everyday behaviors investigated) reached statistical significance after correcting for multiple testing. Furthermore, neither degree of discounting nor the demographic variables (i.e., gender, age, years of education, and household income) were strong predictors for everyday behaviors, and degree of discounting only accounted for limited proportions of variance beyond the demographic variables. Our findings provide support for studying the discounting of losses by subgroups while showing degree of discounting alone is not sufficient to predict individuals’ everyday behaviors.
Chair and Committee
Leonard Green Joel Myerson
Pascal Boyer, Sandra Hale, Mike Strube,
Yeh, Yu-Hua, "Evaluating Everyday Behaviors with Delayed and/or Probabilistic Consequences Through a Discounting Framework" (2021). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2387.