Reference-dependence in intertemporal choice

In our current study, we measure emotional arousal while individuals make decisions between smaller, immediate monetary rewards and later, larger rewards. We find that both emotional responses (as measured by pupil dilation) and choices in this task depend on people’s expectations about the choice environment; that is, they are reference-dependent. Our ongoing work in this area aims to uncover if there is a causal role for emotion during intertemporal decision making.

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