Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #383
What Your Future Self Wants You to Know Now
Sunday, May 24, 2020
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 3, Ballroom AB
Area: EAB; Domain: Theory
Chair: Erik Arntzen (Oslo Metropolitan University)
CE Instructor: Amy Odum, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: AMY ODUM (Utah State University)

Although the behavior of humans and other animals can show exquisite sensitivity to consequences, under some circumstances, we act as if important variables are irrelevant. Why is that? How can we learn to act now, to avoid regret later? I will discuss common end-of-life regrets and work backwards to the present, reverse engineering the path we will wish we had taken. Delay discounting, the decline in the present value of temporally remote rewards, can contribute to the understanding and thus prevention of regret. I will discuss the factors that give rise to our disregard of our future preferences. These include the shape of discounting curves, aspects of the rewards in consideration, and organismic influences. I will discuss research from the basic laboratory to the clinic, and apply it to individual, societal, and global decision-making levels. Within these factors are the keys to changing our own decision making now to prevent regret later.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Practitioners, basic, applied, and clinical behavior analysts.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define delay discounting; (2) discuss how delay discounting contributes to regret; (3) describe the shape of delay discounting curves and how this contributes to impulsivity; (4) describe the contribution of reward type to delay discounting; (5) describe the organismic contribution to delay discounting.
AMY ODUM (Utah State University)

Amy Odum is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Utah State University. Her research interests are in basic behavioral phenomena, such as response persistence, sensitivity to delayed outcomes, conditional discriminations, and environmental influences on drug effects. Her work has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Vermont’s Human Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory after earning her Ph.D. and M.A. in Psychology, specializing in Behavior Analysis, from West Virginia University. She received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida. Dr. Odum served as Editor in Chief of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. She has been President of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and President of Division 25 (Behavior Analysis) of the American Psychological Association. She is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.




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