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1. Monetary Choice Questionnaire, Extended Monetary Choice Questionnaire (MCQ-27, MCQ-36)

Year: 1999

Kirby, Kris N.; Petry, Nancy M.; Bickel, Warren K.

The MCQ-27 was developed to assess impulsiveness in terms of "delay discounting," the reduction in the present value of a future reward as the delay to that reward increases. It asks participants to make 27 choices between smaller immediate rewards versus larger delayed rewards, for example, "Would you prefer $54 today or $80 in 30 days?". The 27 items are a fixed set with immediate rewards ranging from $11-$78 and delayed rewards ranging from $25-$85 with a delay of 7-186 days. Delayed rewards are grouped into three categories based on size, with nine items per category: small ($25-$35), medium ($50-$60), and large ($75-$85). In the source reference study (Kirby et al., 1999), heroin users had discount rates about twice as high as those of the controls (this means that for the average heroin addict in this population, $50 would lose half its value if delayed about 40 days, whereas for the average control, $50 would require a delay of about 77 days to lose half its value).

An extended version of the original MCQ using 36 items (MCQ-36) was developed in 2015 and adds three new items to each of the delayed reward categories (small, medium, and large).

Instrument Use & Availability

A complete list of MCQ-27 trials (dollar amounts, day delays, and order of items) used in the original MCQ can be found in Table 3 of the source reference (Kirby et al., 1999). For the MCQ-36, see Table 1 of the Towe et al., 2015 reference.

For more information, contact:
For the MCQ-27:
Kris Kirby, PhD
Department of Psychology, Williams College

For the MCQ-37
Sheri L. Towe, PhD
Duke University

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Instrument Details:

Source Reference:Kirby KN, Petry NM, Bickel WK. Heroin addicts have higher discount rates for delayed rewards than non-drug-using controls. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 1999;128:78-87. doi: 10.1037/0096-3445.128.1.78
Population studied:Adults
Instrument Type:Assessment
Validity/Reliability:In the source reference study (Kirby et al., 1999), Discount rates were positively correlated with impulsivity as measured by other self-report questionnaires. The results lend external validity to the delay-discounting rate as a measure of impulsiveness, a characteristic associated with substance abuse.

Supporting References:

  • Towe SL, Hobkirk AL, Ye DG, Meade CS. Adaptation of the Monetary Choice Questionnaire to accommodate extreme monetary discounting in cocaine users. Psychol Addict Behav 2015;29(4):1048-55. doi: 10.1037/adb0000101 [MCQ-36]

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