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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 19, 2015

A Cup Today or a Pot Later: On the Discounting of Delayed Caffeinated Beverages

David P. Jarmolowicz, Shea M. Lemley, Dylan Cruse and Michael J. Sofis


Delay discounting describes how the subjective value of a given commodity decreases as the delay to receiving that commodity increases. Decades of behavioral economic research have found that individuals suffering from a range of clinical conditions (e.g., drug addiction, obesity) tend to devalue delayed rewards more quickly than individuals without said clinical conditions and that such individuals tend to discount subjectively equivalent amounts of their disorder-related commodity (e.g., cocaine for a cocaine dependent individual) more rapidly than money. Rates of discounting in regular caffeine users versus occasional caffeine users remain unknown, as does the rate at which individuals discount delayed caffeinated beverages. The present study used a novel discounting questionnaire to examine discounting of caffeinated beverages and money in daily and occasional caffeine users. As with other commodities, caffeinated beverages were discounted at higher rates than money, but this elevated rate of caffeine discounting was only seen in occasional users. Unlike users of other psychostimulants, daily caffeine users did not discount more rapidly than controls. These findings are discussed in light on the existing body of evidence on delay discounting.


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Published Online: 2015-11-19
Published in Print: 2015-1-1

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