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Todd McKerchar, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Education

B.S., University of Florida, Psychology, 1998
M.A., University of Kansas, Human Development, 2002
Ph.D., University of Kansas, Behavioral Psychology, 2006
NIDA Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Vermont, 2006–2007
Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BACB, Inc.), 2007-present

Specialty Areas

Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Behavioral Economics

Courses Frequently Taught

Research Methods & Statistics (PSY 301)
Drugs, Society, & Human Behavior (PSY 436)
Conditioning & Learning (PSY 444)

Research Interests

I am intrigued with applying concepts and procedures from behavioral economics to better understand human choice and behavioral decision making. With my colleagues and students, I have conducted studies on temporal and probability discounting processes. Traditionally, the goals of my research have been to (a) determine how these processes are affected by experimental manipulation (e.g., exchangeability and amount of the rewarding outcome) and (b) describe the quantitative characteristics of the functions that best describe these processes and the effects of manipulation.

More recently, I have been attempting to extend the quantitative models that describe how nonhuman animals choose between variable and fixed rewards to humans making structurally similar choices. Ultimately, such work may have implications for the understanding of species generalities as well as impulsive and risky behavior outside the laboratory.

Some of my other interests include the history, theory, and philosophy of behavior analysis and their relation to other psychological systems.

Service and Professional Interests

I regularly reviews articles for journals devoted to psychology and behavior analysis. I am on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and The Psychological Record, and am a Guest Reviewer for numerous other journals, such as Behavioural Processes and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

My students and I attend and participate in the annual meetings of the Society for Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, the Association for Behavior Analysis, and the Alabama Association for Behavior Analysis.

Currently, I am the Archive Chair of the B.F. Skinner Foundation and both the secretary-treasurer and webmaster of the History of Behavior Analysis Special Interest Group (www.historyofbehavioranalysis.org). I am the past Program Chair and Awards Chair for Division 25 of the American Psychological Association, and am currently a Member-at-Large for this division.

Recent Representative Publications

  • McKerchar, T. L., & Mazur, J. E. (2016). Human choices between variable and fixed rewards in hypothetical variable-delay and double-reward discounting procedures. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 106, 1–21.

  • Kaplan, B. A., Reed, D. D., & McKerchar, T. L. (2014). Using a visual analogue scale to assess delay, social, and probability discounting of an environmental loss. The Psychological Record, 64, 261–269.

  • McKerchar, T. L., Pickford, S., & Robertson, S. R. (2013). Hyperboloid discounting of delayed outcomes: Magnitude effects and the gain-loss asymmetry. The Psychological Record, 63, 441–451.

  • McKerchar, T. L., & Renda, C. R. (2012). Delay and probability discounting in humans: An overview. The Psychological Record, 62, 817–834.

  • McKerchar, T. L., Morris, E. K., & Smith, N. G. (2011). A quantitative analysis and natural history of B. F. Skinner’s coauthoring practices. The Behavior Analyst, 34, 75–91.

  • Washio, Y., Higgins, S. T., Heil, S. H., McKerchar, T .L., Badger, G. J., Skelly, J. M., & Dantona, R. L. (2011). Delay discounting as a predictor of treatment response among cocaine-dependent outpatients. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 19, 243–248.

  • McKerchar, T. L., Green, L., & Myerson, J. (2010). On the scaling interpretation of exponents in hyperboloid models of delay and probability discounting. Behavioural Processes, 84, 440–444.

  • McKerchar, T. L., Green, L., Myerson, J, Pickford, T. S., Hill, J. C., & Stout, S. C. (2009). A comparison of four models of delay discounting in humans. Behavioural Processes, 81, 256–259.

Recent Representative Presentations

  • McKerchar, T. L., & Mazur, J. E. (February 2017). Do humans, like nonhumans, prefer variable over fixed rewards? Invited presentation given at the California Association for Behavior Analysis, Anaheim, CA.

  • McKerchar, T. L., & Mazur, J. E. (February 2016). Human choices between variable and fixed rewards in hypothetical discounting procedures. Invited presentation given at the Winter Conference on Animal Learning and Behavior.

  • McKerchar, T. L., Mazur, J. E., Marshall, T. K., Cumming, J. F., & McDougale, C. B. (May 2015). A test of the economic concept of fungibility: Temporal discounting of money and gift certificates. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis, San Antonio, TX.

  • McKerchar, T. L. (April 2015). Choice and behavioral decision making: Discounting phenomena. Invited keynote given at the annual meeting of the Behavioral Sciences Conference of the North, University of Alaska, Anchorage.

  • McKerchar, T. L. (May 2013). Internal consistency of area under the curve as a measure of discounting. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Minneapolis, MN.

  • McKerchar, T. L., & Suggs, S. A. (May 2013). Discounting future and probabilistic environmental gains and losses. In D. P. Jarmolowicz (Chair), Sex, drugs, indecision, and smog: Contributions of discounting to the understanding of real world problems. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis, Minneapolis, MN.

  • McKerchar, T. L., Green, L. & Myerson, J. (May 2012). Temporal and probability discounting in humans: Theory and translation. Invited presentation given at the annual meeting of the Society for Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Seattle, WA.

  • McKerchar, T. L. (November 2010). A temporal discounting primer for applied behavior analysts. In P. M. McKerchar (Chair), Behavior analysis at Jacksonville State University. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the Alabama Association for Behavior Analysis, Birmingham, AL.

  • McKerchar, T. L., Herring, J. L., & McKnight, A. P. (November 2010). Temporal discounting of gains and losses in adolescent substance abusers. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Alabama Association for Behavior Analysis, Birmingham, AL.

  • McKerchar, T. L., Green, L., & Myerson, J. (May 2009). A comparison of hyperboloid models of discounting delayed and probabilistic monetary rewards. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Phoenix, AZ.

  • Pickford, T. S., & McKerchar, T. L. (May 2009). On the relation between Mazur’s k and area under the curve as measures of delay discounting. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Chicago, ILL.

  • Pickford, T. S., McKerchar, T. L., Hill, J. C., & Stout, S. C. (May 2008). Does initial immediate-reward amount predict the rate of delay discounting in a double-limit choice procedure? Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Chicago, ILL.

  • McKerchar, T. L., Heil, S. H., Johnson, M. W., & Higgins, S. T. (May 2007). Delay discounting of various commodities by cocaine-dependent outpatients: Comparison of two equations and associated measures of discounting. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, San Diego, CA.

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