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We re-examine behavioral patterns of intertemporal choice with recognition that time preferences may be inherently variable, focusing in particular on the explanatory power of an exponential discounting model with variable discount factors - the variable exponential model. We provide analytical results showing that this model can generate systematically different choice patterns from an exponential discounting model with a fixed discount factor. The variable exponential model accounts for the common behavioral pattern of decreasing impatience, which is typically attributed to hyperbolic discounting. The variable exponential model also generates violations of strong stochastic transitivity in choices involving intertemporal dominance. We present the results of two experiments designed to evaluate the variable exponential model in terms of quantitative fit to individual-level choice data. Data from these experiments reveal that allowing for a variable discount factor significantly improves the fit of the exponential model, and that a variable exponential model provides a better account of individual-level choice probabilities than hyperbolic discounting models. In a third experiment we find evidence of strong stochastic transitivity violations when intertemporal dominance is involved, in accordance with the variable exponential model. Overall, our analytical and experimental results indicate that exponential discounting can explain intertemporal choice behavior that was supposed to be beyond its descriptive scope if the discount factor is permitted to vary at random. Our results also highlight the importance of allowing for different sources of randomness in choice modeling.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Cognitive psychology
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The selection or choice of sexual partner in animals. Often this reproductive preference is based on traits in the potential mate, such as coloration, size, or behavioral boldness. If the chosen ones are genetically different from the rejected ones, then NATURAL SELECTION is occurring.
Procedures for finding the mathematical function which best describes the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. In linear regression (see LINEAR MODELS) the relationship is constrained to be a straight line and LEAST-SQUARES ANALYSIS is used to determine the best fit. In logistic regression (see LOGISTIC MODELS) the dependent variable is qualitative rather than continuously variable and LIKELIHOOD FUNCTIONS are used to find the best relationship. In multiple regression, the dependent variable is considered to depend on more than a single independent variable.
Microbial antigens that have in common an extremely potent activating effect on T-cells that bear a specific variable region. Superantigens cross-link the variable region with class II MHC proteins regardless of the peptide binding in the T-cell receptor's pocket. The result is a transient expansion and subsequent death and anergy of the T-cells with the appropriate variable regions.
The ability to estimate periods of time lapsed or duration of time.
Recording serial images of a process at regular intervals spaced out over a longer period of time than the time in which the recordings will be played back.