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Mem Cognit. 2006 Jun;34(4):914-28.

Differential effects of amount on temporal and probability discounting of gains and losses.

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Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.


In four experiments, we compared the effects of delay, probability, and monetary amount on the subjective value of gains and losses. For delayed gains, smaller amounts were discounted more steeply than larger amounts, whereas the opposite pattern was observed with probabilistic gains. For both delayed and probabilistic losses, however, amount had much smaller and less reliable effects on discounting. Taken together, the pattern of differential magnitude effects leads to delayed gains' being discounted significantly more steeply than delayed losses, but only at smaller amounts, whereas probabilistic gains are discounted significantly more steeply than probabilistic losses, but only at larger amounts. Even though the same hyperbola-like function described both individual and group discounting of delayed and probabilistic gains and losses, the present findings suggest that different processes are involved in discounting positive and negative outcomes. Raw data may be downloaded from

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