Economics at your fingertips  

Collective Choice May Tell Nothing About Anyone’s Individual Preferences

Muye Chen (), Michel Regenwetter () and Clintin P. Davis-Stober ()
Additional contact information
Muye Chen: Department of Economics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853
Michel Regenwetter: Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois 61820
Clintin P. Davis-Stober: Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211

Decision Analysis, 2021, vol. 18, issue 1, 1-24

Abstract: As has been known for over a century, aggregated preferences of a group may bear little or no similarity to the preference of any single individual, regardless of the aggregation method. Yet, it remains routine to fit or test theories of individual decision making on pooled data, and it remains routine to cast theories of individual decision making at the aggregate level. This mindset may have disastrous policy and business implications. A population of individuals who all satisfy one theory may behave collectively as though they satisfied a competing theory. A collection of individuals satisfying a given theory may collectively satisfy a version of the same theory with qualitatively different scientific or decision analytic implications. Because the resulting artifacts apply at the population level, replications, large samples, and high-quality data can do nothing to detect or repair them.

Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in Decision Analysis from INFORMS Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Matthew Walls ().

Page updated 2021-03-27
Handle: RePEc:inm:ordeca:v:18:y:2021:i:1:p:1-24