Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark


The present study used a discounting task with differing contextual variables to examine how variables effect discounting between studies and future health related behaviors. Thirty nine participants completed two discounting questionnaires, each included hypothetical food choices paired with a weight loss or stable weight. Participants were instructed to complete each survey based on either their current weight or a gain of 75 pounds, and each survey included two identical hypothetical menu options. One menu incorporated low calorie foods, while the other incorporated moderately healthy foods, and participants were instructed to select the menu they preferred based on weight loss/no weight loss and hypothetical weight presented in instruction. Visual analysis of the results showed a difference in discounting across the conditions; participants appeared to be more impulsive at their current weight. At normal weight, visual analysis of the switch values show that the proportional value of the switch ranged from 1.0 at the lowest proportional delay level to .75 at proportional delay 1. In the hypothetical weight gain condition, this occurred at a level of .95 at the lowest proportional delay and .75 at delay 1. In a visual analysis of AUC comparisons, participants’ scores are higher in the 75 pound weight condition than the normal weight condition, and farther from 0 in the 75 pound weight condition.




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