Item-based analysis of delayed reward discounting decision making Academic Article uri icon

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  • Delayed reward discounting (DRD) is a behavioral economic index of time preference, referring to how much an individual devalues a reward based on its delay in time, and has been linked to a wide array of health behaviors. It is commonly assessed using a task that asks participants to make dichotomous choices between two monetary rewards, one available immediately and the other after a delay. This study sought to shorten an extended iterative DRD assessment to increase its versatility and efficiency. Data were drawn from two young adult samples, an exploratory sample (N=130) and a confirmatory sample (N=247). In the exploratory sample, eight items were identified as predicting the majority of the variance in the full task area under the curve (AUC) (R(2)=.821; p<.001). In the confirmatory sample, the same eight items similarly predicted the majority of variance in the full task AUC (R(2)=.844, p<.001). These results provide initial support for the validity of a brief 8-item assessment of DRD. Priorities for further validation and potential applications are discussed.


  • Gray, Joshua C
  • Amlung, Michael
  • Acker, John D
  • Sweet, Lawrence H
  • MacKillop, James

publication date

  • March 2014