Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Lisa L. Scherer

Second Advisor

Joseph Brown

Third Advisor

Perrin Garsomke


Studies of riskless choice in both cognitive (Stevenson, 1986) and behavioral paradigms (Chung & Herrnstein, 1967) have found that subjects prefer temporally delayed losses and temporally advanced gains. Analogously, studies of risky choice have found that subjects prefer risky losses and certain gains (Tversky & Kahneman, 1981). Because probability is conceptually identical to the inverse of delay, it was recently suggested that these findings were descriptions of the same choice process (Rachlin, Logue, Gibbon, & Frankel, 1986). There were two goals of the present investigation. The first was to replicate and extend, through the use of a withinsubjects design, the finding that subjects prefer delayed gains and immediate losses. The second was to test the applicability of the prospect theory value function in a choice context involving temporally delayed financial options. Subjects showed strong preferences for immediate gains and delayed losses, but there was not support for the prospect theory value function in a riskless context involving temporal delays.

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