An Evaluation of Fixed and Randomized Price Sequence on the Alcohol Purchase Task

Allyson R. Salzer, Justin C. Strickland, William W. Stoops, Derek D. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Factors influencing drug consumption can be effectively evaluated in the context of behavioral economic demand. Specifically, hypothetical purchase tasks (HPTs) allow for estimated drug consumption at a range of prices in which drug administration is not ethically or feasibly possible. With the marked increase of HPTs in behavioral research, understanding methodological influences on responding is paramount. One such methodological consideration is the price sequence, which can be presented in a fixed, ascending order or a randomized sequence. This study compared fixed and fully randomized sequence order with college student drinkers using a within-subjects design. Self-reported consumption revealed that despite some small differences between the fixed and random sequences, consumption preferences were highly similar, regardless of presentation order. These results suggest participants are likely not anchoring their responses to the prior price on a fixed-order sequence. We conclude with a discussion on how these findings provide implications for HPTs and future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-301
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Psychological Association


  • Alcohol
  • Methodology
  • Operant demand
  • Order
  • Purchase task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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