09:45 AM - 10:45 AM - Leonard Green: Impulsivity, Impatience, and Risk Taking: How Many Impulsivities? A Discounting Perspective

People discount the value of delayed or uncertain outcomes, and the same mathematical function describes both delay and probability discounting. The degree to which individuals discount is thought to reflect how impulsive they are. From this perspective, steep discounting of delayed outcomes (which fails to maximize long-term welfare) and shallow discounting of probabilistic outcomes (which fails to adequately take risk into account) reflect similar decision-making processes and also the same trait of impulsivity. However, several manipulations selectively affect delay and probability discounting, and correlational studies show that how steeply one discounts delayed rewards is relatively independent of how steeply one discounts probabilistic rewards. Thus, referring to both delay and probability discounting as measures of ‘impulsivity’ may serve only to indicate that real behavioral problems can involve either kind of discounting. This talk will highlight the similarities and differences between delay and probability discounting as well as the implications of both experimental and correlational findings on discounting and impulsivity.