Please wait a minute...
Acta Psychologica Sinica
|
Discounting or Priority: Which Rule Dominates the Intertemporal Choice Process?
LIU Hong-Zhi1,2; JIANG Cheng-Ming3; RAO Li-Lin1; LI Shu1
(1 Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China) (2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China) (3 Center for Brain and Management Science, College of Economics and Management, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China)
Download: PDF(615 KB)   Review File (1 KB) 
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks    
Abstract  

Intertemporal choice refers to decisions that involve tradeoffs among outcomes at different points of time (Frederick, Loewenstein, & O'Donoghue, 2002; Prelec & Loewenstein, 1991). It is not only a unique characteristic of human behavior, but is also a relevant matter to policymaking and national welfare. Two families of models on intertemporal choice exist. One is the family of discounting models, such as discounted utility model or hyperbolic discounting model. These models assume that people discount future outcomes by their immediacy and subsequently compare the discounted values. The other is the family of priority models, such as tradeoff model or equate-to-differentiate model. These models assume that people compare the differences between dimensions and make decisions along a single dimension. Considerable debate has occurred regarding the strategy that people adopt when making intertemporal choices. The extant evidence based on outcome tests has been inconclusive. To address this debate, we used a process-test paradigm called process dissociation procedure (PDP) to explore whether the strategy that underlies intertemporal choice is a discounting strategy or a priority strategy. Based on dual-system theory, discounting strategy is presumably driven by an analytic system, whereas priority strategy is presumably driven by a heuristic system. Following the logic of PDP, we proposed the following hypothesis: if decisions are based on discounting (priority) strategy, manipulating the factors that affect this strategy results in the transformation of the contribution of the analytic (heuristic) system, whereas the contribution of the heuristic (analytic) remains unchanged. A total of 423 college students participated in the experiments. Specifically, 154 college students participated in Experiment 1, 102 in Experiment 2, and 167 in Experiment 3. In Experiment 1, to ensure that only the analytic system is affected, we manipulated the decision goal by instructing participants to make decisions in a rational manner. In Experiment 2, we examined the effect of cognitive load on the heuristic system by instructing participants to remember several numbers. In Experiment 3, we manipulated strategy priming to simultaneously affect the analytic and heuristic systems by asking participants to answer priming questions before the experiment. The results of Experiment 1 indicated that the decision goal, which was supposed to affect the analytic system, failed to modify the contribution of the analytic system. The results of Experiment 2 showed that cognitive load, which was supposed to affect the heuristic system, modified the contribution of the heuristic system. The results of Experiment 3 suggested that strategy priming, which was supposed to affect both systems, modified the contribution of the heuristic system but did not affect the analytic system. Overall, the results of the three experiments consistently showed that people may adopt a priority strategy, rather than a discounting strategy, when making intertemporal choices. Our findings provide further evidence for the proposition that the priority strategy of heuristic systems dominates the intertemporal choice-making process. This research deepens our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie intertemporal choice and provides a theoretical foundation for establishing and stipulating intertemporal policies, laws, and regulations.

Keywords intertemporal choice      discounting      priority      process dissociation procedure     
Corresponding Authors: LI Shu, E-mail: lishu@psych.ac.cn    
Issue Date: 25 April 2015
Service
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
RSS
Articles by authors
LIU Hong-Zhi
JIANG Cheng-Ming
RAO Li-Lin
LI Shu
Cite this article:   
LIU Hong-Zhi,JIANG Cheng-Ming,RAO Li-Lin, et al. Discounting or Priority: Which Rule Dominates the Intertemporal Choice Process?[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00522
URL:  
http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00522     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2015/V47/I4/522
[1] YANG Haibo; LIU Dianzhi. Validity and sensitivity analysis of segment recognition task on implicit sequence learning[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(3): 230-237.
[2] JIANG Cheng-Ming; LIU Hong-Zhi; CAI Xiao-Hong; LI Shu. A process test of priority models of intertemporal choice[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(1): 59-72.
[3] LI Aimei; PENG Yuan; XIONG Guanxing. Are Pregnant Women More Foresighted? #br# The Effect of Pregnancy on Intertemporal Choice[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(11): 1360-1370.
[4] CHEN Haixian;HE Guibing. The Effect of Psychological Distance on Intertemporal Choice and Risky Choice[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2014, 46(5): 677-690.
[5] SUO Tao;ZHANG Feng;ZHAO Guoxiang;LI Hong. The Influence of Time Perception Difference on Intertemporal Choice[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2014, 46(2): 165-173.
[6] DOU Kai; NIE Yangang; WANG Yujie; LI Jianbin; SHEN Wangbing. Ego Depletion Promotes Impulsive Decision: Evidences from Behavioral and ERPs Studies[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2014, 46(10): 1564-1579.
[7] ZHANG Bao;Huang Sai;HOU Qiuxia. The Priority of Color in Working-Memory-Driven Ocular Capture[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2014, 46(1): 17-26.
[8] HE Guibing;JIANG Duo. The Effect of Task Frames and Altruism on Social Discounting[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2013, 45(10): 1131-1146.
[9] MA Wen-Juan,SUO Tao,LI Ya-Dan,LUO Li-Zhu,FENG Ting-Yong,LI Hong. Dissecting the Win-Loss Framing Effect of Intertemporal Choice: Researches from Intertemporal Choice of Money-Gain & Loss[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2012, 44(8): 1038-1046.
[10] YANG Hong-Sheng,WANG Fang,GU Nian-Jun,HUANG Xi-Ting. Processing Priority for Self-related Information: Evidence from Visual Search of Screen Names[J]. , 2012, 44(4): 489-497.
[11] WANG Zuo-Jun,LI Shu. Tests of the Integrative Model and Priority Heuristic Model from the Point of View of Choice Process: Evidence from an Eye-tracking Study[J]. , 2012, 44(2): 179-198.
[12] CHEN Hai-Xian, HE Gui-Bing. The Effect of Construal Level on Intertemporal Choice and Risky Choice[J]. , 2011, 43(04): 442-452.
[13] HE Jia-Mei,HUANG Xi-Ting,YING Ke-Li,LUO Yang-Mei. The Staged Construction of Temporal Discounting[J]. , 2010, 42(04): 474-484.
[14] ZHANG Feng,SHUI Ren-De,ZHOU Yan-Yan,LIANG Jun-Ying,SHEN Mo-Wei. Psychological Mechanisms of the Tendency of Super-quick Decay for Delayed
Heroin Reinforcement in Heroin Abstainers
[J]. , 2009, 41(08): 763-772.
[15] LUO Zhao-Sheng, OUYANG Xue-Lian, QI Shu-Qing, DAI Hai-Qi,,DING Shu-Liang. IRT Information Function of Polytomously Scored Items under the Graded Response Model[J]. , 2008, 40(11): 1212-1220.
Viewed
Full text


Abstract

Cited

  Shared   
  Discussed   
Copyright © Acta Psychologica Sinica
Support by Beijing Magtech