ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (1): 38-54.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00038

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


王盼盼, 何嘉梅()   

  1. 辽宁师范大学儿童青少年健康人格评定与培养协同创新中心, 大连 116029
  • 收稿日期:2018-09-18 出版日期:2020-01-25 发布日期:2019-11-21
  • 通讯作者: 何嘉梅
  • 基金资助:
    * 辽宁省教育厅人文社会科学研究项目(W201783656);教育部人文社会科学研究青年基金项目(18YJC190005)

Effects of episodic foresight on intertemporal decision-making

WANG Panpan, HE Jiamei()   

  1. Collaborative Innovation Center of Healthy Personality Assessment and Cultivation of Children and Adolescents in Liaoning Province, Dalian 116029, China
  • Received:2018-09-18 Online:2020-01-25 Published:2019-11-21
  • Contact: HE Jiamei


为了探究情景预见对跨期决策的影响机制, 研究采用延迟折扣任务范式, 检验了在情景预见对跨期决策的影响中延迟时间知觉起到的中介作用。两个实验分别操纵了情景预见中未来事件与自我有关的信息和未来事件的情绪特征, 结果均发现情景预见通过改变个体对延迟等待时间的时距知觉影响了跨期决策。想象与自己、与母亲有关的未来事件, 想象积极、中性情绪效价的未来事件都使得被试将延迟等待时间知觉为较短的时间段, 更倾向于选择延迟奖励。想象消极情绪效价的未来事件使得被试将延迟等待时间知觉为较长的时间段, 更加偏好即时奖励。本研究有助于增进人们对情景预见影响跨期决策现象的理解。

关键词: 情景预见, 跨期决策, 延迟等待过程, 时距知觉


The flexibility of individual decision-making behavior is at least partly the result of people’s ability to travel mentally in time and entertain potential future scenarios. It has been proved that episodic foresight has great effect on intertemporal decision-making. However, the reasons for such effect are controversial. The self-relevant information and emotional characteristics of an imagined event could change the perceived waiting time, which is an important factor affecting the preference of intertemporal decision-making ( Zauberman, Kim, Malkoc, & Bettman, 2009). We propose the hypothesis that the perceived waiting time may mediate the effect of episodic foresight on intertemporal decision-making.
Based on the delay discounting task paradigm, we designed two experiments to explore the mediating role of perceived waiting time between episodic foresight and intertemporal decision-making, which from the perspective of the self-relevant information of the imagined event and the emotional characteristics of the imagined event that occurs in the future time intervals successively. We tested our hypothesis in two laboratory experiments with approximately 93 participants each. Between-subjects study design with pretest and post-test was employed. In the experiments, participants were randomly assigned to different groups and they were asked to complete the subjective perception of the waiting-time task in the pretest and post-test and the episodic-foresight task in the post-test. Participants were also asked to imagine that the given event on the screen occurs on the 15th day from today as much detail as possible, including the time, place, and characters of the event, and write down the contents of the first imagined event. Participants were also required to imagine the event that appear on screen before making a choice every time. Moreover, the current emotional state and the current level of urgent need for money of the participants were recorded and analyzed in the pretest and post-test.
Results of two experiments showed that the perceived waiting time mediated the effect of episodic foresight on intertemporal decision-making. Imagining self-relevant future events and future events with positive or neutral emotional valence revealed that participants perceived delayed waiting time as short and were more inclined to choose delayed rewards. However, imagining future events with negative emotional valence showed that participants perceived delayed waiting time as long and were more inclined to choose immediate rewards. The current emotional state, the current level of urgent need for money, and other additional environmental variables had no effect on the experimental results.
In conclusion, this study reveals the psychological mechanism that episodic foresight mediates participants’ intertemporal decision-making through the perceived waiting time, and two experiments demonstrate its robustness. Our research provides a new perspective for explaining why episodic foresight affects intertemporal decision-making and, for the first time, focuses on the process of delayed waiting time in delayed rewards, which has considerable theoretical value.

Key words: episodic foresight, intertemporal decision-making, future time intervals, perceived waiting time