The generality of steep discounting in smokers

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Amy Odum


Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the US. Higher degrees of impulsivity are one personality factor that is frequently associated with smoking and delay discounting is one measure of impulsive behavior. The generality of higher degrees of impulsivity, or steeper discounting, is less well known. This paper will address the generality of steeper discounting in smokers when compared to non-smokers. Two experiments will be discussed. The first experiment compares the rate of discounting across several commodities (money, alcohol, entertainment, and food) between smokers and non-smokers. Differences between groups will be discussed as well as correlations within groups. The second experiment compares delayed health outcomes in smokers and non-smokers to address methodological issues in prior studies and to try and determine what differences exist between the two groups. Implications and future directions will also be discussed.

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