Excessive temporal discounting undergirds addiction, and the quantitative relationships of changes in discounting have yet to be investigated. The quantitative relationship between pre- and posttreatment discount rates was examined using data from five of our studies with diverse interventions across different groups of substance users. Discounting and treatment-outcome drug-use data from 222 drug-dependent individuals were analyzed. The primary measures were discounting of delayed reinforcers and objective measures of drug use. Results revealed that change in discounting was inversely related to baseline rates of discounting, such that participants with low discount rates showed little change in discounting with treatment, whereas participants with high discount rates showed large reductions in discounting. As importantly, those treatments that produced the largest gains in drug abstinence had the largest effects on discount rates. Temporal discounting changes with the specific quantitative signature of rate dependence, and more efficacious treatments remediate high discounting rates.
- Rate dependent
- Temporal discounting