The behavioral economics of choice and interval timing.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The authors propose a simple behavioral economic model (BEM) describing how reinforcement and interval timing interact. The model assumes a Weber-law-compliant logarithmic representation of time. Associated with each represented time value are the payoffs that have been obtained for each possible response. At a given real time, the response with the highest payoff is emitted. The model accounts for a wide range of data from procedures such as simple bisection, metacognition in animals, economic effects in free-operant psychophysical procedures, and paradoxical choice in double-bisection procedures. Although it assumes logarithmic time representation, it can also account for data from the time-left procedure usually cited in support of linear time representation. It encounters some difficulties in complex free-operant choice procedures, such as concurrent mixed fixed-interval schedules as well as some of the data on double bisection, which may involve additional processes. Overall, BEM provides a theoretical framework for understanding how reinforcement and interval timing work together to determine choice between temporally differentiated reinforcers.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jozefowiez, J; Staddon, JER; Cerutti, DT

Published Date

  • July 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 116 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 519 - 539

PubMed ID

  • 19618985

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2743419

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-1471

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0033-295X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/a0016171


  • eng