Interest in and Perceived Effectiveness of Contingency Management Among Alcohol Drinkers Using Behavioral Economic Purchase Tasks

Haily K. Traxler, Brent A. Kaplan, Mark J. Rzeszutek, Christopher T. Franck, Mikhail N. Koffarnus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Contingency management (CM), in which financial incentives are provided upon verification of abstinence from alcohol, cigarettes, and/or illicit substances, is one of the most highly effective and empirically supported treatments for substance use disorders. However, the financial cost of implementation has been identified as a major barrier to implementation of this treatment. The purpose of this study was to develop behavioral economic purchase tasks to assess interest in CM as a function of treatment cost and perceived effectiveness ofCMas a function of abstinence incentive size in alcohol drinkers. Alcohol drinkers recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) completed behavioral economic purchase tasks measuring demand for CM based on targeted abstinence intervals and treatment effectiveness and alcohol use disorder severity assessments. Nonlinear mixed-effects modeling was used to fit demand curves and assess the relationship between individual characteristics and demand metrics for CM. Results reveal that participants reported higher probability of remaining abstinent from drinking when offered larger incentives and required larger incentives when duration of abstinence required to earn the incentive was increased. Additionally, willingness to pay for treatment increased as effectiveness of treatment increased. Abstinence interval and treatment effectiveness are important features to consider when developing effective CM for widespread use, as these variables affected participants’ likelihood of being abstinent and their interest in treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-139
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 16 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by institutional funds at Virginia Tech to Mikhail N. Koffarnus. Haily K. Traxler’s time was supported in part by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01 AA026605 to Mikhail N. Koffarnus and by a fellowship to Haily K. Traxler under the Clinical and Translational Science of the National Institutes of Health award number TL1 TR001997. Hundred percent of this research was supported by federal or state money with no financial or nonfinancial support from nongovernmental sources. The content of this article is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The funding source did not have a role in writing this article or in the decision to submit it for publication

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Psychological Association


  • alcohol use disorder treatment
  • behavioral economic demand
  • contingency management
  • financial incentives
  • hypothetical purchase task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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