Date of Award

12-1-2016

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark

Second Advisor

Belisle, Jordan

Abstract

TITLE: IMPULSIVNENESS AND SELF-REOPRTED VALUES MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Mark R. Dixon Towards developing an applied behavior technology that treats vales as the dependent variable of interest, there is a necessity for understanding the relationship between impulsiveness and self-reported values. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how values affected social and delay discounting. Thirty participants were given two surveys, one was a social discounting survey, and the other was a delay discounting survey. Finally, participants were given a valued-living questionnaire. In the social discounting survey, participants were asked to mentally make a list of people they knew from 1-100, 1 being the closest to them and 100 being a distant acquaintance. They were then asked to pick between two choices involving hypothetical money. Starting with the choice of keeping $85 for themselves, or giving $75 to the 1st person on their list. The second choice was to keep $75 for themselves, or give $75 to the #1 person on their list. The monetary value continued to decrease by 10, while the value to give to another person remained the same, these were continued for person #2, # 5, #10, #20, and #50 on their list. The delay discounting instructed participants to choose between two hypothetical choices. The first was receiving $85 today or $75 in 1 week. The second choice was to receive $75 today, or $75 in 1 week. The hypothetical monetary value was decreased by $10, until it reached $5. The valued living questionnaire used a Likert-scale from 1-10 with 1 being ‘not at all important and ’10 being ‘extremely important’ across 10 areas (family-other than marriage or parenting, i marriage/couples, intimate relations, parenting, friends/social life, work, education/training, recreation/fun, spirituality, citizenship/community life, and physical self-care (diet, exercise, sleep). The second section of the questionnaire evaluated committed action, and asked participants to rate how consistent their actions have been with each of these value areas within the past week. A Likert-scale was also used from 1-10, with 1 being ‘not at all consistent with my value’ and 10 being ‘completely consistent with my value’. A Pearson product-movement correlation coefficient was composed to access the relationship between the switch point of discounting and rating of each area of valued living. There were to valued living areas with significant findings. There was a positive correlation between Social AUC and VLQ: Importance- Social/Friends (r=.503, n=30, p=.005). There was also a positive correlation between Delay AUC and VLQ: Importance- Physical self-care (r=.448, n=30, p=.013). There was no correlation between either social AUC and delay AUC and any of the committed action values. The results have implications for a translational understanding of the influence of discounting on reported values and committed action processes.

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