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The Effects of Time Perspective and Salience of Possible Monetary Losses on Intertemporal Choice

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We examined the effects of time perspective (present vs. future) and salience (high vs. low) of possible monetary losses on intertemporal choices in 2 experiments and found that people with high future time perspective (FTP) preferred larger but later rewards while those with low FTP preferred smaller but immediate rewards. When the future possibility of zero gain was explicitly cued in the present option, this reminded participants of the chance of future loss and eliminated the differences in temporal preferences between those with high and low FTP. In contrast, present zero gain cued in the future option neither raised the participants' consideration of possible present loss nor changed their temporal preference. Possible future losses were determined to be chronically salient in high FTP participants and situationally salient in conditions in which future zero was explicitly cued. Moreover, the tradeoff process was found to mediate the relationship between the salience of possible future losses and temporal preferences.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-11-01

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