Document Type

Theoretical Article


In this article, we examine the relation between delay discounting and future time perspective by reviewing how these concepts have been measured and quantified in order to assess their conceptual similarities. The extent to which the different measures are empirically related is reviewed by describing studies that have assessed both constructs and by comparing the variables that have been associated with variations in delay discounting and in time horizon. We suggest that both steep delay discounting and a short future time perspective are associated with a range of problematic and health-damaging behaviors, such as addictive disorders, risky behavior, poor school performance, and delinquency. However, despite these shared associations, and despite the conceptual similarities, the few studies that allow a direct comparison between measures of future time perspective and delay discounting do not give reason to presume a robust relation between them.