Document Detail

Evidence for a magnitude effect in temporal discounting with pigeons.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22229590     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A magnitude effect in human intertemporal choice is well established-larger rewards or outcomes are discounted over time at a lower rate than are smaller rewards. However, many recent studies have failed to find a corresponding effect in nonhuman animals. Here we report a magnitude effect in temporal discounting for pigeons' choices involving a tradeoff between reward delay and amount. Pigeons chose between a small reward (1-s access to food) after a 2-s delay, and a large reward (4.5-s access to food) after a 28-s delay. Across conditions, the delays to the small and large rewards were increased or decreased, respectively. Temporal discounting functions obtained through a value-estimation procedure showed clear evidence of a magnitude effect: The value of the large reward decreased more slowly with increasing delay than the value of the small reward. We linked this result to a nonlinear relationship between choice and the delays associated with the small and large rewards. The nonlinearity was contrary to the generalized matching law but was predicted by the contextual choice model. Our results confirm the existence of a magnitude effect in nonhuman temporal discounting, showing that this adaptation is not unique to humans.
Randolph C Grace; Rebecca J Sargisson; K Geoffrey White
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental psychology. Animal behavior processes     Volume:  38     ISSN:  1939-2184     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process     Publication Date:  2012 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-01-10     Completed Date:  2012-05-15     Revised Date:  2014-03-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7504289     Medline TA:  J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  102-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
(c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Choice Behavior / physiology*
Columbidae / physiology*
Conditioning, Operant / physiology*
Functional Laterality
Photic Stimulation
Reaction Time / physiology*
Time Factors

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