Contagion Effects in Intertemporal Decision Making

Michael BixterStony Brook University
Elizabeth TrimberStony Brook University
Christian LuhmannStony Brook University


Prior research has provided substantial insight into individuals’ intertemporal preferences (i.e., preferences about delayed rewards). The present study instead investigated the preferences of small groups of individuals asked to express collective intertemporal decisions. The paradigm consisted of three phases. During the Pre-Collaboration and Post-Collaboration phases participants completed an intertemporal matching task individually. During the Collaboration phase participants completed a similar task in small groups, reaching mutually agreed-upon decisions. Results suggest that group preferences were systematically related to group members’ Pre-Collaboration preferences. In addition, collaborative decision making altered group members’ intertemporal preferences. Furthermore, it was found that individuals’ Post-Collaboration preferences were independently related to both their Pre-Collaboration preferences and the preferences of other group members, suggesting that individuals’ Post-Collaboration preferences represented a revision of their Pre-Collaboration preferences based on the preferences observed in other group members.


Contagion Effects in Intertemporal Decision Making (281 KB)

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