Temporal Discounting of Hedonic Outcomes: Affective Processing and the Hot/cool Model

Temporal Discounting of Hedonic Outcomes: Affective Processing and the Hot/cool Model

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People tend to discount outcomes over time, valuing distant future outcomes less than more proximal outcomes. However, Loewenstein (1987) found that people prefer some highly appetitive stimuli later rather than earlier and some highly aversive stimuli earlier rather than later. He attributes this pattern of negative discounting to the utility of anticipatory savoring and dread, which he expects to be stronger for more vivid stimuli. However, other findings suggest that increasing the vividness of stimuli increases delay discounting (Metcalfe a Mischel, 1999). Using Metcalfe and Mischel's (1999) hot/cool system framework, it was hypothesized that cool cognitive processing of brief hedonic stimuli would produce little or even negative delay discounting. However, it was predicted that these same stimuli would be discounted to a greater degree when processed in a hot emotional manner. Five experimental studies manipulated hot/cool system activation and tested these hypotheses. Studies 1 and 2 used an imagery manipulation, Study 1 with hypothetical stimuli and Study 2 with real stimuli and an incentive-compatible measure. These studies found support for the study hypotheses. Studies 3a, 3b, and 4 used a valuation prime manipulation and found only slight support for the hypotheses. Studies 3a and 3b also failed to find support for construal level as a mediator of the effect of hot/cool activation on discounting. Results of Studies 3a, 3b, and 4 are interpreted in light of weaknesses of the valuation prime manipulation. Overall, results of the current research provide qualified support for the hypothesized relationship between hot/cool activation and temporal discounting.Stimuli Participants were instructed to imagine two stimuli: aquot;kissing a movie star of your choice, aquot; and aquot;eating your favorite meal.aquot; The movie ... Construal Level Participants were asked to write a brief essay describing each stimulus. Construalanbsp;...

Title:Temporal Discounting of Hedonic Outcomes: Affective Processing and the Hot/cool Model
Publisher:ProQuest - 2009

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