Discounting of Sequences of Delayed Rewards of Different Amounts

Wojciech Białaszek , Paweł Ostaszewski


The main purpose of this study was to determine whether the magnitude effect is present in cases where delayed sequences of rewards are discounted. The magnitude effect refers to the inverse relationship between the amount of a reward and the steepness of temporal discounting. This study was conducted with a computer program to estimate the indifference points, which served as indicators of the present subjective value of delayed sequences of small and large rewards. In the indifference point the subjective value of a single, immediate reward was equal to the subjective value of the delayed sequence (or to the value of a single delayed reward). As a control condition, we added an experimentaltask involving choices between single immediate and single delayed rewards. The experiment showed that the sequences of large rewards are discounted less steeply than are the sequences of small rewards. This finding suggests that the magnitude effectis present within the delayed sequences of rewards. In addition, when outcomes are relatively large, the results suggest that a single reward is discounted less steeply than the sequence of a total nominal value equal to this single reward. However, for relatively small rewards, the difference is not statistically significant. The less steep discounting of sequences of large rewards may explain the reward-bundling effect, which refers to less steep discounting of longer sequences than of shorter ones: longer sequences usually have greater overall nominal value. The present study was conducted on hypothetical rewards, and the results should be validated using real rewards.
Author Wojciech Białaszek (Wydział Psychologii)
Wojciech Białaszek,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Paweł Ostaszewski (Wydział Psychologii)
Paweł Ostaszewski,,
- Wydział Psychologii
Journal seriesBehavioural Processes, ISSN 0376-6357, (A 20 pkt)
Issue year2012
Keywords in EnglishChoice, Temporal discounting, Sequences of rewards, Magnitude effect, Bundling effect
ASJC Classification2802 Behavioral Neuroscience; 1103 Animal Science and Zoology; 2700 General Medicine
Languageen angielski
bialaszek-ostaszewski-2012.pdf of 14-09-2015
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Score (nominal)25
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2012 = 0.842; WoS Impact Factor: 2012 = 1.507 (2) - 2012=1.626 (5)
Citation count*11 (2021-01-17)
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