The Gym Membership Purchase Task: Early Evidence Towards Establishment of a Novel Hypothetical Purchase Task

Jeremiah Brown, Wendy Donlin Washington, Jeffrey S. Stein, Brent A. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hypothetical purchase tasks are a widely used tool to determine the reinforcing value of commodities, especially commodities which are difficult to deliver experimentally. Amazon Mechanical Turk users (N = 375) completed two novel hypothetical purchase tasks (quantity of purchase and probability of purchase) and other measures to estimate how much an individual values the opportunity to exercise in a gym. We examined correlations between demand indices generated by each task and measures related to physical activity. In addition, we compared rates of systematic and nonsystematic responding between the two tasks. Exploratory analyses of demand indices and measures of physical activity suggest initial evidence of construct validity for each task. When accounting for an order effect, the probability of purchase task generated significantly lower rates of nonsystematic responding compared to the quantity of purchase task (2.87% vs. 14.6%, respectively). We discuss how these results may inform improved construction of future hypothetical purchase tasks and implications for using likelihood and quantity purchase tasks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Record
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Association for Behavior Analysis International.

Keywords

  • Behavioral economics
  • Demand
  • Exercise
  • Hypothetical purchase task
  • Value of physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology

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