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Value for the future and preventive health behavior.

Authors
  • Chapman, G B
  • Brewer, N T
  • Coups, E J
  • Brownlee, S
  • Leventhal, H
  • Leventhal, E A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of experimental psychology. Applied
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2001
Volume
7
Issue
3
Pages
235–250
Identifiers
PMID: 11676102
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Many everyday decisions require trade-offs between immediate and delayed benefits. Although much research has assessed discounting of delayed outcomes by using hypothetical scenarios, little research has examined whether these discounting measures correspond to real-world behavior. Three studies examined the relationship between scenario measures of time preference and preventive health behaviors that require an upfront cost to achieve a long-term benefit. Responses to time preference scenarios showed weak or no relationship to influenza vaccination, adherence to a medication regimen to control high blood pressure, and adherence to cholesterol-lowering medication. The finding that scenario measures of time preference have surprisingly little relationship to actual behaviors exemplifying intertemporal trade-offs places limits on the applications of time preference research to the promotion of preventive health behavior.

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