Delay Discounting of Different Commodities Varies as a Function of Political Party Affiliation in a College Sample

Jeffrey N. Weatherly


Delay discounting has been used as a measure of both self control and of value for a particular commodity. The present study employed 265 college psychology students who self identified as being either a Democrat or a Republican to complete a delay-discounting task involving five different commodities (two monetary values, retirement income, Federal legislation, and medical treatment). Analyzing the area under the discounting curve, results showed that Democrats discounted all commodities to a greater extent than did Republicans. These results may suggest that Democrats are more apt than Republicans to prefer immediate results or that they value these commodities to a lesser degree than Republicans. Members of both parties, however, displayed similar changes in discounting across commodities, indicating a similarity in relative values.


Delay discounting, Democrats, Republicans, College Students

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Published by the University of Illinois at Chicago Library

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