Prof. George Ainslie

George Ainslie

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
Temple University, Pennsylvania (USA)
Chief of Psychiatry
Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Pennsylvania (USA)

Personal web site:

List of publications (pdf)

Education: Medical Doctor (MD) at Harvard University School of Medicine.

Research interests: Intertemporal choice and hyperbolic discounting; Self-control, impulsiveness and impulse control; Addiction; Willpower, rationality and motivational states; Behaviorism, Behavioral economics, Neuroscience.

Web resources on Professor Ainslie: George Ainslie at Wikipedia (


(most available at Professor Ainslie's web site:

(2005) G. Ainslie, Précis of breakdown of will, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2005, 28, 635-673 (

(2003) G. Ainslie, J.R. Monterosso, Building blocks of self-control: Increased tolerance for delay with bundled rewards, Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 79, 27-48, 2003 (

(2001) G. Ainslie, Breakdown of will, Cambridge University Press, 2001 ( - type: "Breakdown of will") (1999)

(1999) G. Ainslie, The dangers of willpower: A picoeconomic understanding of addiction and dissociation. In J. Elster and O-J. Skog, (eds.), Getting Hooked: Rationality and Addiction Cambridge University Press, pp. 65-92, 1999 (

(1996) G. Ainslie, Studying self-regulation the hard way, Psychological Inquiry 7, 16-21,  1996 (

(1995) G. Ainslie, A utility-maximizing mechanism for vicarious reward: Comments on Julian Simons "Interpersonal allocation continuous with intertemporal allocation", Rationality and Society 7, 393-403, 1995 (

(1991) G. Ainslie, Intertemporal choice. Derivation of "rational" economic behavior from hyperbolic discount curves, American Economic Review 81, 334-340, 1991 (

(1989) G. Ainslie, Freud and Picoeconomics, Behaviorism 17, 11-19, 1989 (

(1986) G. Ainslie, Beyond microeconomics: conflict among interest in a multiple self as a determinant of value. In J. Elster (ed.), The Multiple Self, Cambridge University Press, pp. 133-175, 1986 (

(1982) G. Ainslie, A behavioral economic approach to the defense mechanisms: Freud's energy theory revisited, Social Science Information 21, 735-779, 1982 (

(1975) G. Ainslie, Specious reward: A behavioral theory of impulsiveness and impulse control. Psychological Bulletin 82, 463-496, 197 (

Working papers and drafts:

(2009) A. Hofmeyr, G. Ainslie, R. Charlton, D. Ross, The relationship between addiction and reward bundling: An experiment comparing smokers and non-smokers (

(2007) J. Monterosso, G. Ainslie, The behavioral economics of will in recovery from addiction. Published in final edited form as: Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 September ; 90 Suppl. 1 (

(2005) G. Ainslie, Emotion as a motivated behaviour (

(2003) G. Ainslie, A selectionist model of the Ego: Implications for Self-Control, Presented at Disorders of Volition, a conference of The Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research Irsee, Germany, December 13, 2003 (

(2003) G. Ainslie, Uncertainty as wealth. Published in: Behavioural Processes, 64, 369-385, 2003 (

(2002) G. Ainslie,The effect of hyperbolic discounting on personal choices, Keynote speech to the thematic session, "Personal Choice and Change", Annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, 2002 (

(2002) G. Ainslie, J. Monterosso,Hyperbolic discounting as a factor in addiction: A critical analysis. Pubblicato in Rudy Vuchinich and Nick Heather, eds., Choice, Behavioural Economics and Addiction, Pergamon, 2003 (

(2002) J. Monterosso, G. Ainslie, P. Toppi Mullen, B. Gault, The fragility of cooperation: A false feedback study of a sequential iterated prisoner's dilemma, Finald Draft. Published in: Journal of Economic Psychology 23, 437-448, 2002 (

Updated: January 11, 2010

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