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WCALB | Keynote Address & Focus Session




Organismic and Environmental Influences on Delay Discounting:  Evidence for a General Process


Amy L. Odum

Utah State University


Abstract-- Delay discounting is the decline in value of temporally remote outcomes and is relevant to many important health-related behavior problems.These include drug abuse, obesity and gambling.For reasons that are as yet unclear, delay discounting has been shown to vary for different types of outcomes.  Delay discounting for one outcome is also related to discounting of other outcomes.This intra-personal consistency across outcomes could mean that delay discounting is a personality trait.However, there appear to be some important exceptions to this rule that could help us better understand delay discounting as a general process.  Relatively recent attempts to modify delay discounting with the objective of producing therapeutic benefit will also be discussed.



Amy Odum is Professor of Psychology at Utah State University.She is Editor in Chief of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and has been President of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and Division 25 of the American Psychological Association.Her research is concerned with basic behavioral phenomena such as response persistence, sensitivity to delayed outcomes, conditional discriminations, and environmental influences on drug effects. Dr. Odum’s Ph.D. is from West Virginia University where she specialized in Behavior Analysis.  Her post-doctoral fellowship was at the University of Vermont’s Human Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory.




Decision Making and Factors that Influence Reinforcer Value:  Research and Applications


The format is presentations (up to 25-minutes) with extended discussion among participants in a Research Seminar Session chaired by Amy Odum that concludes the Conference.Let me ( know if you would like to join this session. 


Focus Sessions have been published as special issues of the International Journal of Comparative Psychology, as this one could be.  The 2014 session on Operant and Classical Conditioning: Comparisons, Intersections and Interactions can be found at;volume=27;issue=4).For the Focus Session concerned with Theory of Mind:The Interface Between Learning and Cognition see;volume=24;issue=4.  The Focus Session concerned with Associative Mechanisms and Drug Related Behavior is at;volume=18;issue=2.A list of all Focus Sessions is below this message

WCALB Focus sessions have been concerned with:


             Decision Making and Suboptimal Choice (2015)
            Operant/Classical Conditioning:  Comparisons and Interactions (2014)*
            Pharmacological History & the Control & Expression of Learning & Behavior (2013)

Theory of Mind: The Interface Between Learning and Cognition (2012)

Bi-directional Links Between Obesity & Learning & Memory Dysfunction (2011)

Rational Rats: Causal Inference and Reality Monitoring (2010)*

Economic Demand, Reinforcer Essential Value and Drug Addiction (2009)

Remembering and Anticipating Events in Time (2008)

Modeling Data: From Description & Significance to Behavior & Theories (2007)

The Question of Animal Consciousness and Cognition (2006)

Choice in Humans and other Animals (2005)

Associative Mechanisms and Drug-Related Behavior (2004)*

Learning, Choice and Context Effects (2003).