Title

Impulsive People Have a Compulsion for Immediate Gratification - Certain or Uncertain

Publication Date

2015

Journal

Frontiers in Psychology

Volume

6

First Page

515

Abstract

Impulsivity has been defined as choosing the smaller more immediate reward over a larger more delayed reward. The purpose of this research was to gain a deeper understanding of the mental processes involved in the decision making. We examined participants' rates of delay discounting and probability discounting to determine their correlation with time-probability trade-offs. To establish the time-probability trade-off rate, participants adjusted a risky, immediate payoff to a delayed, certain payoff. In effect, this yielded a probability equivalent of waiting time. We found a strong, positive correlation between delay discount rates and the time-probability trade-offs. This means that impulsive people have a compulsion for immediate gratification, independent of whether the immediate reward is certain or uncertain. Thus, they seem not to be concerned with risk but rather with time.

DOI

10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00515

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