The present study used a delay discounting framework to study decisions about six social policy issues and one monetary outcome. For outcomes that nearly all participants discounted, social policies were discounted significantly more than money. A similar result was observed when analyzing all outcomes using data only from participants who discounted all outcomes. Factor analyses, however, indicated that discounting of social policies outcomes was not independent of discounting money. When data from nondiscounters were included in the analyses, results indicated that participants placed the most value on money and the least value on expanding legalized abortion. Further, a factor analysis suggested that the issues of abortion, gay marriage, and potentially affirmative action were valued differently than the other outcomes. This separation appeared to be mediated by political party affiliation and church attendance. The present results highlight the potential value of studying how individuals discount delayed outcomes pertaining to social issues, but also reveal the potential complexities of doing so.
Weatherly, Jeffrey N.; Plumm, Karyn M.; and Derenne, Adam
"Delay Discounting and Social Policy Issues,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 61
, Article 2.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol61/iss4/2