Delay discounting by pathological gamblers

J Appl Behav Anal. 2003 Winter;36(4):449-58. doi: 10.1901/jaba.2003.36-449.


Discounting of delayed rewards by pathological gamblers was compared to discounting of delayed rewards by matched control nongambling participants. All participants completed a hypothetical choice task in which they made repeated choices between dollars 1,000 available after a delay and an equal or lesser amount of money available immediately. The delay to the large amount of money was varied from 1 week to 10 years across conditions. Indifference points between immediate money and delayed money were identified at each delay condition by varying the amount of immediate money across choice trials. For the majority of participants, indifference points decreased monotonically across delays. Overall, gamblers discounted the delayed rewards more steeply than did control participants.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Female
  • Gambling / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Reference Values
  • Reward