A Dynamic Tradeoff Model of Intertemporal Choice


The delay discounting perspective, which assumes an alternative-wise processing of attribute information, has long dominated research on intertemporal choice. Recent studies, however, have suggested that intertemporal choice is based on attribute-wise comparison. This line of research culminated in the tradeoff model (Scholten & Read, 2010; Scholten, Read, & Sanborn, 2014), which can accommodate most established behavioral regularities in intertemporal choice. One drawback of the tradeoff model, however, is that it is static, providing no account of the dynamic process leading to a choice. Here we develop a dynamic tradeoff model that can qualitatively account for empirical findings in intertemporal choice regarding not only choices but also response times. The dynamic model also outperforms the original, static tradeoff model when quantitatively fitting choices from representative data sets, and even outperforms the best-performing dynamic model derived from Decision Field Theory in Dai and Busemeyer (2014) when fitting both choices and response times.

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