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J Atten Disord. 2018 May 1:1087054718772138. doi: 10.1177/1087054718772138. [Epub ahead of print]

ADHD and the Choice of Small Immediate Over Larger Delayed Rewards: A Comparative Meta-Analysis of Performance on Simple Choice-Delay and Temporal Discounting Paradigms.

Author information

1
1 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Neurology, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University Medicine Rostock, Rostock, Germany.
2
2 Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medicine Rostock, Rostock, Germany.
3
3 School of Education, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing, China.
4
4 Center for Innovation in Mental Health, Academic Unit of Psychology, Southampton, UK.
5
5 Clinical and Experimental Sciences (CNS and Psychiatry), Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK.
6
6 Solent NHS Trust, Southampton, UK.
7
7 New York University Child Study Center, New York, USA.
8
8 Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
9
9 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Impulsive choices can lead to suboptimal decision making, a tendency which is especially marked in individuals with ADHD. We compared two different paradigms assessing impulsive choice: the simple choice paradigm (SCP) and the temporal discounting paradigm (TDP).

METHOD:

Random effects meta-analyses on 37 group comparisons (22 SCP; 15 TDP) consisting of 3.763 participants (53% ADHD).

RESULTS:

Small-to-medium effect sizes emerged for both paradigms, confirming that participants with ADHD choose small immediate over large delayed rewards more frequently than controls. Moderation analyses show that offering real rewards in the SCP almost doubled the odds ratio for participants with ADHD.

CONCLUSION:

We suggest that a stronger than normal aversion toward delay interacts with a demotivating effect of hypothetical rewards, both factors promoting impulsive choice in participants with ADHD. Furthermore, we suggest the SCP as the paradigm of choice due to its larger ecological validity, contextual sensitivity, and reliability.

KEYWORDS:

ADHD; delay aversion; delay discounting; impulsive choice; meta-analysis

PMID:
29806533
DOI:
10.1177/1087054718772138

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