Trade-offs in choice between risk and delay depend on monetary amounts

Joyce Christensen, Scott Parker, Alan Silberberg, Steven Hursh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In Experiments 1 and 2, 25 and 48 college students made binary choices between hypothetical money amounts. In Part A, choices were between small amounts available with certainty and larger amounts ($10 to $10,000) available with risk. Choices in Part B were between immediate small amounts and delayed larger amounts. As money amount grew, risk aversion and delay aversion both changed but in opposite ways: Risk aversion grew but delay aversion shrank. Part C of Experiment 1 pitted risky amounts against delayed amounts, and its results were consistent with those of Parts A and B. Equivalences of particular risks and delays depended on the particular monetary amounts to which they attached. In Experiment 3, 20 college students made binary choices between money amounts, knowing that they would actually receive some of the selections they made. In Part A, choices were between certain small amounts and risky larger amounts ($1 and $10). Choice problems in Part B were between immediate small amounts and delayed receipt of $1 or $10. The results were like those of Experiment 1, though weaker. These results argue against models of choice that posit an equivalence of risk and delay that is independent of monetary amount.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-139
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Volume69
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Choice
  • Delay
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Probability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Trade-offs in choice between risk and delay depend on monetary amounts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Christensen, J., Parker, S., Silberberg, A., & Hursh, S. (1998). Trade-offs in choice between risk and delay depend on monetary amounts. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 69(2), 123-139.