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Data from: High monetary reward rates and caloric rewards decrease temporal persistence


Fung, Bowen J.; Bode, Stefan; Murawski, Carsten (2017), Data from: High monetary reward rates and caloric rewards decrease temporal persistence, Dryad, Dataset,


Temporal persistence refers to an individual's capacity to wait for future rewards, while forgoing possible alternatives. This requires a trade-off between the potential value of delayed rewards and opportunity costs, and is relevant to many real-world decisions, such as dieting. Theoretical models have previously suggested that high monetary reward rates, or positive energy balance, may result in decreased temporal persistence. In our study, 50 fasted participants engaged in a temporal persistence task, incentivised with monetary rewards. In alternating blocks of this task, rewards were delivered at delays drawn randomly from distributions with either a lower or higher maximum reward rate. During some blocks participants received either a caloric drink or water. We used survival analysis to estimate participants' probability of quitting conditional on the delay distribution and the consumed liquid. Participants had a higher probability of quitting in blocks with the higher reward rate. Furthermore, participants who consumed the caloric drink had a higher probability of quitting than those who consumed water. Our results support the predictions from the theoretical models, and importantly, suggest that both higher monetary reward rates and physiologically relevant rewards can decrease temporal persistence, which is a crucial determinant for survival in many species.

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