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The additive property of the inconsistency degree in intertemporal decision making through the generalization of psychophysical laws

Natália Destefano and Alexandre Souto Martinez

posted on 21 March 2011

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Intertemporal decision making involves choices among options whose effects occur at different moments. These choices are influenced not only by the effect of reward value perception at different moments, but also by the time perception effect. One of the main difficulties that affect standard experiments involving intertemporal choices is the simultaneity of both effects on time discounting. In this paper, we unify the psychophysical laws and discount value functions using the one-parameter exponential and logarithmic functions from nonextensive statistical mechanics. Also, we propose to measure the degree of inconsistency. This quantity allow us to discriminate both effects of time and value perception on discounting process and, by integration, obtain other main quantities like impulsivity and discount functions.