television, computers, and the doctrine of the "instant fix." Data are presented showing that many health problems, including addictive behaviors, depression and suicide, obesity and bulimia, and crime rates have increased in tandem with this cultural evolution of a short-sighted, myopic focus on immediate gratification. The heroin addict who longs for the next fix is unable to accept the way things are in the present moment. Craving for drug reinforcers locks the addict into a fixation on the immediate future, and long-term costs often are discounted. Data reviewed in this chapter support the hypothesis that alcohol-dependent individuals show a significantly shorter awareness of the future, or "future time perspective." Intervention and treatment programs need to integrate time perspective into their programs, because individual differences in future time perspective may be a factor that affects treatment outcome. Promising new techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, may be able to shift future time perspectives back into the present moment. All in all, a provocative final chapter--one to look foreword to as a reward for reading through this important and exciting book.
I take this opportunity to thank the authors for educating me on the basics of behavioral economics and how it applies to the understanding of health behaviors. It is truly a tour de force, and I feel honored to be asked to provide this Foreword by the editors, Warren Bickel and Rudy Vuchinich. For readers who are just beginning to read this "baker's dozen" of chapters (adding one more to the dozen always makes good economic sense), bon Appétite!
-- G. Alan Marlatt, University of Washington
Ainslie G. ( 1975). "Special reward: A behavioral theory of impulsiveness and control". Psychology Bulletin, 82, 463-496.