Prior studies comparing discounting of delayed hypothetical or potentially real rewards have reported no differences, but they used within-subjects designs. This raises the possibility that participants remembered their choices in one condition and repeated them in the other. In Experiment 1, between-subjects comparisons were made with an adjusting-amount procedure. No significant effect of reward type on delay discounting was detected. Experiment 2 increased the proportion of real rewards and made between- and within-subject comparisons. These comparisons also failed to reveal a significant effect of reward type. Although these findings are consistent with prior findings, caution is urged because choices involving hypothetical rewards have yet to be compared with choices involving real rewards (i.e., the consequences of every choice are obtained) in an experiment using forced-choice trials and steady-state methodology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)