Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

PLoS ONE

Publisher

Public Library of Science

Publication Date

2016

DOI

DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0159561

Abstract

Delay discounting, as a behavioral measure of impulsive choice, is strongly related to substance abuse and other risky behaviors. Therefore, effective techniques that alter delay discounting are of great interest. We explored the ability of a semester long financial education course to change delay discounting. Participants were recruited from a financial education course (n = 237) and an abnormal psychology course (n = 80). Both groups completed a delay-discounting task for $100 during the first two weeks (Time 1) of the semester as well as during the last two weeks (Time 2) of the semester. Participants also completed a personality inventory and financial risk tolerance scale both times and a delay-discounting task for $1,000 during Time 2. Delay discounting decreased in the financial education group at the end of the semester whereas there was no change in delay discounting in the abnormal psychology group. Financial education may be an effective method for reducing delay discounting.

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