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1. chinaXiv:202007.00044 [pdf]

A meta-analysis of the effect of episodic future thinking on delay discounting

Jun-yan Ye; Qing-yu Ding; Ji-fang Cui; Zhe Liu; Lu-xia Jia; Xiao-jing Qin; Hua Xu; Ya Wang
Subjects: Psychology >> Cognitive Psychology

Delay discounting (DD) is the phenomenon that individuals prefer to choose an immediate but smaller reward than a delayed but larger reward. Larger DD is considered as an indicator of impulsivity, the increased DD rate is also seen as a behavior indictor of various psychiatric disorders. Episodic future thinking (EFT) is the ability to project oneself into the future to pre-experience the future events, which can be used to reduce DD. The present study provided a meta-analysis on the efficiency of EFT in reducing DD and examined potential moderators. Thirty-seven studies including 48 contrasts were included, results showed that EFT reduced DD significantly. Moderator and meta-regression analyses revealed that positive EFT was more efficient in reducing DD. In addition, several factors related to DD task (e.g., whether the DD money is hypothetical or potential real, whether the delay reward is fixed or variable, and the indexes of DD) were related to the efficiency of EFT in reducing DD. These results have implications for using EFT to reduce DD in the future.

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