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DELAY DISCOUNTING OF HYPOTHETICAL AND REAL MONEY: THE EFFECT OF HOLDING REINFORCEMENT RATE CONSTANT

Authors


  • This research is based on a thesis submitted by the second author in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the master's degree. Preparation of this report was supported in part by NIMH Grant MH055308 to the third and fourth authors.

Address correspondence to Mark R. Dixon, Behavior Analysis and Therapy Program, Rehabilitation Institute, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois 62901 (e-mail: mdixon@siu.edu).

Abstract

We examined the effect of holding reinforcement rate constant on delay discounting of hypothetical and real money when delays were actually experienced. In some conditions, participants were required to wait for the delayed rewards, and in some conditions, reinforcement rate was held constant by adding blackout periods after immediate rewards. Typical discounting occurred with the standard procedure and when there were no blackouts, but not when we held rate of reinforcement constant. Real and hypothetical money produced the same outcomes.

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