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ERIC Number: EJ1006926
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0096-3445
How Decisions Emerge: Action Dynamics in Intertemporal Decision Making
Dshemuchadse, Maja; Scherbaum, Stefan; Goschke, Thomas
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, v142 n1 p93-100 Feb 2013
In intertemporal decision making, individuals prefer smaller rewards delivered sooner over larger rewards delivered later, often to an extent that seems irrational from an economical perspective. This behavior has been attributed to a lack of self-control and reflection, the nonlinearity of human time perception, and several other sources. Although an increasing number of models propose different mathematical descriptions of temporal discounting, the dynamics of the decision process behind temporal discounting are much less clear. In this study, we obtained further insights into the mechanisms of intertemporal decisions by observing choice action dynamics via a novel combination of continuously recorded mouse movements and a multiple regression approach. Participants had to choose between two hypothetical options (sooner/smaller vs. later/larger) by moving the mouse cursor from the bottom of the screen either to the top left or to the top right. We observed less direct mouse movements when participants chose later/larger rewards, indicating that participants had to overcome the attraction of the sooner/smaller reward first. Additionally, our results suggest that framing time information differently changes the weighting of value. We conclude that using a continuous process-oriented approach could further advance the understanding of intertemporal choice beyond the identification of the best fitted mathematical description of the discounting function by uncovering the way intertemporal decisions are performed. (Contains 6 figures and 4 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A