Effect of Motion Perception on Intertemporal Choice Is Associated With the Altered Time Perception

Psychol Rep. 2019 Feb;122(1):117-134. doi: 10.1177/0033294118755098. Epub 2018 Jan 30.


Intertemporal choice refers to the choice between receiving a small immediate reward or a large delayed one. Previous studies have indicated that time perception plays a critical role in the intertemporal choice, and it could be affected by the features of the target stimulus in the time reproduction task, such as speed of movement and state of motion. However, there is no evidence about whether backward or forward motion perception could alter the intertemporal choice. Thus, in our current study, 29 participants were asked to perform two tasks in a random order. One was the intertemporal choice task after viewing videos containing moving elements with forward/backward directions as well as stationary ones, and another was the time perception task. We found that the discounting rate in intertemporal choice was significantly larger in backward motion condition than in both forward motion and stationary conditions, indicating that backward motion perception made participants more myopic (specifically, more likely to choose the smaller immediate reward instead of the large delayed one) during their decision-makings. Meanwhile, participants overestimated the temporal duration in a time perception task in backward motion condition compared to the other two conditions. Furthermore, the Pearson's correlation analysis showed that the changes of the intertemporal choice induced by backward motion perception could be associated with the altered time perception. As far as we know, we provide the first evidence on influence of motion perception on the intertemporal choice as well as its possible cognitive correlates, which extend previous studies on cognitive basis of the intertemporal choices.

Keywords: Intertemporal choice; motion direction perception; myopic behavior; overestimation; time perception.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Delay Discounting / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult