Date of Award

5-2018

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark A.

Second Advisor

Koch, Darwin

Third Advisor

Redner, Ryan

Abstract

Research on impulsivity has focused on the choices between sooner, smaller stimuli versus larger later stimuli. More recent methods that have studied health choices compared temporal and probability discounting tasks between control groups and a comparison group such as smokers, obese individuals, alcoholics, etc. While correlations have been derived between responses on discounting tasks and selection of actual monetary reinforcers, research has not been expanded to question choices pertaining directly to the targeted problem. A technology that reliably assesses choices directly related to these illnesses has yet to be developed. The current study attempted to expand on the technology of discounting by applying it to choices related to healthy eating. 11 participants completed a cross commodity health discounting survey and average proportion area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for survey 1 (M = .41) and survey 2 (M = .21) Correlations between weight and proportion AUC (r = 0.69), income and proportion AUC (r = -0.32), and age and proportion AUC (r = -0.40) were determined. Methodological error that altered 2 variables (hypothetical weight and weight loss option) between surveys limited direct comparisons between survey. Implications of data derived from such error were discussed.

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