Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Author ORCID Identifier

Amy L. Odum






Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

Publication Date


Journal Article Version

Accepted Manuscript

First Page


Last Page



We examined how temporal expectations influence preference reversals in a delay of gratification task for rats based on a hypothesis of Rachlin (2000), who suggested that preference for a larger-later reward may shift in favor of a smaller-immediate reward as a result of changes in when that larger reward is expected. To explore Rachlin’s hypothesis, we pre-exposed two groups of rats to the delays associated with a larger-later reinforcer from a delay of gratification task. One group experienced the delays as a function of their choices in an intertemporal choice task and the other group experienced delays yoked from the first group (independent of their behavior) in an exposure training procedure. In addition, we included a third group of rats that were not exposed to delays during pre-exposure training as a comparison to the other two groups. Overall, the two groups of rats that experienced delays during pre-exposure training tended to make fewer defection responses than the comparison group during the delay of gratification task. Consistent with Rachlin’s hypothesis, our results suggest that temporal learning may influence preference reversals in a delay of gratification task, providing a number of future directions for research in this area.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Haynes, J.M., Willis-Moore, M.E., Perez, D., Cousins, D.J. and Odum, A.L. (2023), Temporal expectations in delay of gratification. Jrnl Exper Analysis Behavior, 119: 59-80, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.