The relationship between temporal discounting and the prisoner's dilemma game in intranasal abusers of prescription opioids

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 Feb 23;87(1):94-7. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2006.07.007. Epub 2006 Aug 22.


Previous research on college students has found that cooperation in iterated prisoner's dilemma game is correlated with preference for delayed rewards in studies of temporal discounting. The present study attempted to replicate this finding in a drug-dependent population. Thirty-one individuals who intranasally abuse prescription opioids participated in temporal discounting and iterated prisoner's dilemma game procedures during intake for a treatment study. Rate of temporal discounting was determined for each participant at two hypothetical reward magnitudes, as well as proportion of cooperation in a 60-trial iterated prisoner's dilemma game versus a tit-for-tat strategy. Cooperation in the prisoner's dilemma game and temporal discounting rates were significantly correlated in the predicted direction: individuals who preferred delayed rewards in the temporal discounting task were more likely to cooperate in the prisoner's dilemma game.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Adult
  • Buprenorphine / administration & dosage*
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Male
  • Narcotic Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Prisoners / psychology*
  • Reward*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Token Economy


  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Buprenorphine