College students repeatedly chose between an immediate,
small reinforcer (viewing animated cartoons for 15 s then waiting
75 s before the next trial) and a delayed, large reinforcer (a delay
of 55 s, then a viewing period of 25 s, followed by 10 s of waiting).
Participants were classified as impulsive if, in Session 1, they
chose the immediate, small reinforcer on at least 70% of trials, or
as self-controlled if they chose it on 30% or less. In Session 2,
informing impulsive participants about how much viewing time
each schedule offered reduced but did not eliminate impulsive
responding . Informing self-controlled participants about the
different delays had no effect. Giving information consistent with
previous preferences resulted in continuation of those
preferences. The perSistence of impulsive responding despite
contrary instructions suggests a heightened tendency to discount
the value of delayed reinforcers, a process implicated in drug
dependence and other pathologies.
Navarick, Douglas J.
"CONTROL OF IMPULSIVE CHOICE THROUGH BIASING INSTRUCTIONS,"
The Psychological Record:
4, Article 3.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol51/iss4/3