Dread and Temporal Discounting




Reyes, Emmanuel L.

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Intertemporal choice revolves around weighing potential gains and losses when making decisions based on outcomes that come at different points in time. An important component of intertemporal choice is temporal discounting, the tendency to place more value on immediate vs. later rewards. Much of the literature has focused on discounting and delaying rewards as opposed to punishments or negative events. In addition, several other personality traits may also be associated with temporal discounting, such as neuroticism, extraversion, the behavioral inhibition system (BIS), and the behavioral activation systems (BAS). The primary objective of this study was to clarify the relationship between temporal discounting and negative events, specifically, dread. The secondary objective was to examine whether individual differences the aforementioned personality traits moderate the relationship between dread and temporal discounting. Results showed that dread significantly predicted temporal discounting such that higher dread was associated with a higher tendency to get negative events over with quicker. Results from the moderation analyses revealed no significant interaction between neuroticism/extraversion and dread. However, there was a significant interaction for both the BIS/BAS Reward Responsiveness and dread such that, across higher levels of dread, people with a stronger BIS as well as a stronger BAS Reward Responsiveness had a higher tendency to delay negative events than those with lower BIS/BAS Reward Responsiveness. Results from this study will contribute to the greater literature about temporal discounting and enhance our understanding of how emotional states affect intertemporal choice.



Intertemporal choice, Dread, Temporal discounting, Neuroticism, Extraversion, BIS, BAS Reward Responsiveness


Reyes, E. L. (2022). <i>Dread and temporal discounting</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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