ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2015, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (4): 522-532.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00522

• 论文 • 上一篇    下一篇

“时间折扣”还是“单维占优”? ——跨期决策的心理机制


  1. (1中国科学院行为科学重点实验室, 心理研究所, 北京 100101) (2中国科学院大学, 北京 100101) (3浙江工业大学经贸管理学院, 脑与管理科学研究中心, 杭州 310023)
  • 收稿日期:2013-11-05 出版日期:2015-04-25 发布日期:2015-04-25
  • 通讯作者: 李纾, E-mail:
  • 基金资助:

    国家重点基础研究发展规划(973)项目(2011CB711002), 国家自然科学基金青年科学基金项目(31300843), 国家自然科学基金面上项目(31170976; 31471005), 北京市优秀博士学位论文指导教师人文社科项目(20138012501), 教育部人文社会科学研究青年基金项目(14YJC190009), 中国科学院心理研究所科研启动经费(项目号Y2CQ043005)资助。

Discounting or Priority: Which Rule Dominates the Intertemporal Choice Process?

LIU Hong-Zhi1,2; JIANG Cheng-Ming3; RAO Li-Lin1; LI Shu1   

  1. (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)
  • Received:2013-11-05 Online:2015-04-25 Published:2015-04-25
  • Contact: LI Shu, E-mail:


为探索跨期决策的心理机制, 本研究利用加工分离程序范式, 检验了跨期决策过程的主导策略究竟是分析系统的时间折扣策略还是启发式系统的单维占优策略。3个实验分别操纵了决策目标、认知负荷和策略启动因素, 实验结果一致性地发现:能够影响分析系统策略的决策目标和策略启动因素没有导致分析系统策略贡献率的变化, 能够影响启发式系统策略的认知负荷和策略启动因素导致了启发式系统策略贡献率的变化。研究结果支持启发式系统的单维占优策略在跨期决策中起作用的假设, 但不支持分析系统的时间折扣策略起作用的假设。本研究或能加深人们对跨期决策心理机制的理解, 并为建立、健全与跨期决策相关的政策、法律、法规提供理论支持和帮助。

关键词: 跨期决策, 时间折扣, 单维占优, 加工分离程序


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.

Key words: intertemporal choice, discounting, priority, process dissociation procedure