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 a behavioral psychologist interested in applying concepts and procedures from behavioral economics to better understand human choice and decision making. With my colleagues and students, I have primarily conducted studies on temporal and probability discounting processes among various populations, including substance abusers. Traditionally, the goals of my research have been to (a) determine how discounting 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 as well as between single and multiple rewards to humans making structurally similar choices. This work has implications for our understanding of some of the most fundamental models of choice and decision making.

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 frequent 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 Elections/Nominations Committee Chair and a Member-at-Large for Division 25 of the American Psychological Association (APA). I am the past Archive Chair of the B.F. Skinner Foundation as well as a past Program Chair and Awards Chair for Division 25 of the APA.

Recent Publications

  • McKerchar, T. L., Kaplan, B. A, Reed, D. D., Suggs, S. S., & Franck, C. T. (2018). Discounting environmental outcomes: Temporal and probabilistic air-quality gains and losses. Behavior Analysis: Research & Practice.

  • Kaplan, B. A., Amlung, M., Reed, D. D. Jarmalowicz, D. P., McKerchar, T. L., & Lemley. S. M. (2016). Automating scoring of delay discounting for the 21- and 27-item monetary choice questionnaires. The Behavior Analyst, 39, 293–304.

  • 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. (April 2018). Discounting by humans in variable-delay and double-reward choice procedures. Invited presentation given at the Four Corners Association for Behavior Analysis, Park City, UT.

  • McKerchar, T. L., & Mazur, J. E. (November 2017). How humans make choices between variable and fixed delays and one and two rewards. Invited presentation given at the Midwest Association for Behavior Analysis, Milwaukee, WIS.

  • 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. (February 2017). What is a K value? A workshop on delay discounting. Workshop 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, Winter Park, CO.

  • 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., 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.