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The current study analyzed the effects of three frames of reward magnitude – quantity, volume, and duration – on the rate at which college students discounted hypothetical, delayed monetary rewards. Hypothetical scenarios were presented using the fill-in-the-blank discounting questionnaire and participants made choices between immediate and delayed hypothetical monetary rewards. Scenarios framed the monetary choices as (a) quantity of dollar bills, (b) height (inches) of a stack of dollar bills, and (c) duration of time spent in a hypothetical cash machine to collect dollar bills. For each scenario, participants’ subjective values were used to calculate the area under the curve (AuC). Framing resulted in a moderate effect size: the duration frame yielded significantly smaller AuC values compared to the quantity and volume frames. Thus, the framing of reward magnitude was a significant variable in controlling discounting rates for hypothetical, delayed monetary rewards. Subsequent investigations should be aware of the independent effects of the reward magnitude frames on delay discounting rates.

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Harman, M., Kodak, T. and McKerchar, T. (July 2020) "Effects of Reward Magnitude Frames on Measures of Delay Discounting in a Hypothetical Money Scenario." Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. DOI:

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