Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


39th Annual Convention; Minneapolis, MN; 2013

Event Details

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Special Event #61
SQAB Tutorial: Impulsivity, Impatience, and Risk Taking: How Many Impulsivities? A Discounting Perspective
Saturday, May 25, 2013
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Auditorium Room 1 (Convention Center)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Presenting Authors: : LEONARD GREEN (Washington University), Joel Myerson (Washington University)

People discount the value of delayed or uncertain outcomes, and the same mathematical function describes both delay and probability discounting. The degree to which individuals discount is thought to reflect how impulsive they are. From this perspective, steep discounting of delayed outcomes (which fails to maximize long-term welfare) and shallow discounting of probabilistic outcomes (which fails to adequately take risk into account) reflect similar decision-making processes and also the same trait of impulsivity. However, several manipulations selectively affect delay and probability discounting, and correlational studies show that how steeply one discounts delayed rewards is relatively independent of how steeply one discounts probabilistic rewards. Thus, referring to both delay and probability discounting as measures of "impulsivity" may serve only to indicate that real behavioral problems can involve either kind of discounting. This tutorial will highlight the similarities and differences between delay and probability discounting as well as the implications of both experimental and correlational findings on discounting and impulsivity.

LEONARD GREEN (Washington University), Joel Myerson (Washington University)
Leonard Green, Ph.D., received his undergraduate degree from the City College of New York (CCNY) and his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. After completing post-doctoral research, Green ventured west of the Mississippi (although he thought he was still east of the river) where he is now a professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis and director of undergraduate studies. Green’s research concerns choice and decision-making in rats, pigeons, and people, with a particular interest in models of self-control, impulsivity, and basic learning processes. He is one of the developers of behavioral economics, a transdisciplinary field that combines the experimental methodology of psychology with the theoretical constructs of economics. He has published more than 150 articles and book chapters, is co-author of the book Economic Choice Theory: An Experimental Analysis of Animal Behavior (Cambridge University Press), and editor of Advances in Behavioral Economics, the third volume of which is subtitled Substance Use and Abuse. He has been editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, associate editor of the Pavlovian Journal of Biological Science, and consulting editor for Behavior and Philosophy. Green’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, and the McDonnell Center for Higher Brain Function. He is a fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS). He was president of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and on the Executive Board of the Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior (SQAB) and Missouri Families for Effective Autism Treatment (MO-FEAT).



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