Effects of gratitude and cognitive load on delay discounting: replication failures in two experiments
Mascioli, Brittany A.
MetadataShow full item record
Delay discounting is the phenomenon whereby the value of future rewards is discounted as a function of time. Individual differences in discounting rate have been linked to a range of correlates and research has suggested a lower discounting rate to be more adaptive. One mechanism that may reduce discounting rate involves effortful self-regulation achieved through the engagement of executive function processes. This mechanism, however, is reliant on a limited-capacity cognitive system. Cognitively demanding contexts and low baseline capacity therefore create vulnerability to higher discounting rates and the associated negative sequelae. The affective state of gratitude has been proposed as an alternative mechanism to reduce discounting rate. It has been described as independent of effortful self-regulation with the implication that it is not demanding of limited cognitive resources. However, this had not been tested experimentally. The current research program comprised two experiments. The primary aims were as follows: (1) to replicate previous findings showing the effects of gratitude and cognitive load on discounting rate, and (2) to extend previous findings by investigating whether the effect of one of these predictors depends on the level of the other. [...]