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A Test of Choice Bundling when Reward Receipt is Contingent upon the Completion of an Aversive Behavior
Restricted (Penn State Only)
Ashe, Melinda Leigh
Master of Science
Date of Defense:
February 02, 2018
Stephen Wilson, Thesis Advisor
Joshua Morrison Smyth, Committee Member
James Marshall Lebreton, Committee Member
Choice bundling; economics; addiction; impulsivity
Choice bundling is a behavioral economic construct which stipulates that aggregating a series of individual, identical decisions into a single choice can reduce impulsive behavior. Limited human studies on choice bundling have found that bundling choices can lead to less impulsive decision-making. No prior work has examined how choice bundling impacts behavior when the receipt of a reward comes with costs. The present study employed a 2-by-2 cross-sectional design to determine if choice bundling would lead to reduced impulsivity even when reward receipt was contingent upon the completion of an unpleasant task (holding one’s breath for as long as possible). 120 participants completed the present study. Logistic regression analyses revealed that choice bundling made participants approximately five times more likely to engage in impulsive choice.
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