Executive Functioning and Delay Discounting of Four Different Outcomes in University Students
The study investigated a potential relationship between level of executive functioning and rates of delay discounting (i.e., the subjective decrease in the value of an outcome if its delivery is delayed). University students completed an executive-functioning questionnaire and then a delay-discounting task involving four different outcomes (money, cigarettes, dating partner, body image). Results showed that the overall measure of executive functioning was a significant predictor of rates of discounting of three of the four outcomes, and approached significance for the fourth outcome. Further, different subscales of executive functioning were significantly correlated with discounting of different outcomes. These results suggest that executive functioning plays a role in discounting of delayed outcomes and that procedures designed to affect either executive function or delay discounting might result in concomitant changes in the other measure.