Temporal reward discounting and ADHD: task and symptom specific effects.

Psychology Department, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
Journal of Neural Transmission (Impact Factor: 2.87). 02/2008; 115(2):221-6. DOI: 10.1007/s00702-007-0813-6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study investigated a new aspect of the association between ADHD symptoms and delay aversion. Participants were 55 undergraduate Psychology students with varying levels of self-reported ADHD symptoms. Various delay aversion tasks were used, including real and hypothetical temporal discounting tasks previously used in the field of ADHD. ADHD symptoms, specifically hyperactivity/impulsivity, were associated with steep discounting, but only when rewards and delays were real. These data suggest that (1) real temporal discounting tasks are more sensitive to ADHD-related delay aversion than hypothetical ones; (2) delay aversion may be a causal mechanism specifically associated with ADHD-Combined and Hyperactive/Impulsive Types but not Inattentive Type. These findings may help refine behavioral treatment approaches and models of ADHD.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Impulsivity is associated with several psychiatric disorders in which the loss of control of a specific behavior determines the syndrome itself. One particularly interesting population characterized by reported high impulsivity and problematic decision-making are those diagnosed with pathological gambling. However the association between impulsivity and decision making in pathological gambling has been only partially confirmed until now. We tested 23 normal controls and 23 diagnosed pathological gamblers in an intertemporal choice task, as well as other personality trait measurements. Results showed that gamblers scored higher on impulsivity questionnaires, and selected a higher percentage of impatient choices (higher percentage of smaller, sooner rewards), when compared to normal controls. Moreover, gamblers were faster in terms of reaction times at selecting the smaller, sooner options and discounted rewards more rapidly over time. Importantly, regression analyses clarified that self-reported measures of impulsivity played a significant role in biasing decisions towards small but more rapidly available rewards. In the present study we found evidence for impulsivity in personality traits and decisions in pathological gamblers relative to controls. We conclude by speculating on the need to incorporate impulsivity and decision biases in the conceptualization of pathological gambling for a better understanding and treatment of this pathology.
    PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e109197. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0109197 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the delay discounting paradigm choices are made between a good of small utility available soon (SS) vs. a good of greater utility available later (LL). Versions of the task may be used with human and non-human subjects, they generate characteristic data, and are of relevance the topic of this special issue, the imputed impulsivity of organisms categorized as ADHD, and animal models of ADHD. Mathematical models of judgment were formulated. The first model adds the utility of a good to the utility of the delay. It provides distinct information about future perspective, the marginal utility of the goods offered, and the relative weight on delay. It grounds hyperbolic discounting. It predicts slower rates of discount for more preferred goods. It can reduce to an exponential function on future perspective time. When choice is mediated by conditioning, not judgment, a model of conditioned reinforcement strength is written. For studies where only the degree of preference for the LL is reported, a Thurstonian model of discrimination provides a shell that embraces all of the earlier models, providing additional information about the precision and bias of those preferential judgments. All other prominent models are nested within, or approximations to, the models described here. The models are fit to exemplary data. They provide some support for theories of delay aversion, and explanations for some inconsistencies in the literature. They involve parameters of general utility and provide connection to economic models. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article provides an analysis of the demand side of health insurance from a decision-making perspective. I will address in particular why take-up of affordable health insurance products in developing countries may be low despite their obvious benefits for the insurant. Without any doubt, (negative) attitudes toward the idea of health insurance are influenced by multiple factors and have their roots in financial, cultural, traditional, religious, cognitive, experiential, and other reasons. However, in this discussion article, I maintain that, in addition to these reasons, there are psychological causes explaining low insurance take-up that have so far been insufficiently considered in the literature and that have their roots in unfavorable decision-making patterns. Low take-up of health insurance can be partly explained by both a strong present bias when making decisions about the future, leading to difficulties to act in accordance with one’s long-term interests, and the unreadiness to be part of a caring society of insurees when no direct benefit for the contributor or his close kin is immediately evident. Effective policies aimed at increasing the demand for insurance need to exploit and modify people’s present-bias, and modulate and expand (perceived) group boundaries to foster cooperative attitudes to all members of the caring society, even if they are strangers.
    Journal of Neuroscience Psychology and Economics 09/2014; 73(3):174-193. DOI:10.1037/npe0000024

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 21, 2014