Effects of individual and dyadic decision-making and normative reference on delay discounting decisions

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


The tendency to devaluate delayed rewards, a phenomenon referred to as ‘discounting behaviour’, has been studied by wide-ranging research examining individuals choosing between sooner but smaller or later but larger rewards. Despite the fact that many real-life choices are embedded in a social context, the question of whether or not social collaboration can have an impact on such choices has not been addressed empirically. With this research, we aimed to fill this gap experimentally by implementing a novel choice selection procedure in order to study the interactive dynamics between two participants. This selection procedure allowed us to dissect the sequence of decision-making into its elements, starting from the very first individual preference to the solution of possible conflicting preferences in the dyad. In Experiment 1, we studied group decision-making on classical intertemporal choices to reveal the possible benefit of social collaboration on discounting and identified that the knowledge of the social situation in collective decision-making causes a reduction in discounting. In a pre-registered Experiment 2, we compared classical intertemporal choices with choices in a gamified version of a discounting paradigm in which the participants had a real-time experience trial by trial and for which a normative reference was present. We found that collective decision-making had a substantial impact on intertemporal decision-making, but was shaped by different types of choices. Classical intertemporal choices were rather susceptible to the contextual factors of decision-making, whereas in the gamified version that included a normative reference the decisions were reliably influenced by social collaboration and resulted in a lower discounting. The results in this paradigm replicate our original findings from former research.


Original languageEnglish
Article number71
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalCognitive research: principles and implications
Early online date28 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

External IDs

Scopus 85135161104
PubMed 35900639
Mendeley 82e5be8c-5a59-33f6-b3b8-b2e212011cd1
WOS 000832673800001
ORCID /0000-0002-4408-6016/work/142234412
ORCID /0000-0001-9149-8614/work/142245445


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis


  • Decision Making, Delay Discounting, Humans, Reward, Social Environment, Time Factors

Library keywords