Analysis of Delay Discounting as a Psychological Measure of Sustainable Behavior

Jamie L. Hirsh, Mack S. Costello, R. Wayne Fuqua


As concerns regarding the current and future state of the planet continue to grow, the need to understand the behavioral mechanisms that underlie behaviors linked to large-scale, probabilistic and delayed outcomes become more critical. Delay discounting refers to decline in the subjective value of a stimulus as the delay-interval to access that stimulus increases. In this article, the relevance of delay discounting to issues of sustainability is explored. The research on delay discounting and related processes is summarized, specifically research that relates discounting and sustainability issues. Implications for behavior change and future research are discussed.


delay discounting, sustainability, choice, decision-making

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Published by the University of Illinois at Chicago Library

And Behaviorists for Social Responsibility