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Better is worse, worse is better: Reexamination of violations of dominance in intertemporal choice

Cheng-Ming Jiang, Hong-Mei Sun, Long-Fei Zhu, Lei Zhao, Hong-Zhi Liu and Hong-Yue Sun

Judgment and Decision Making, 2017, vol. 12, issue 3, 253-259

Abstract: Recently, Scholten and Read (2014) found new violations of dominance in intertemporal choice. Although adding a small receipt before a delayed payment or adding a small delayed receipt after an immediate receipt makes the prospect objectively better, it decreases the preference for that prospect (better is worse). Conversely, although adding a small payment before a delayed receipt or adding a small delayed payment after an immediate payment makes the prospect objectively worse, it increases the preference for that prospect (worse is better). Scholten and Read explained these violations in terms of a preference for improvement. However, to produce violations such as these, we find that the temporal sequences need not be constructed as Scholten and Read suggested. In this study, adding a small receipt before a dated receipt (thus constructed as improving) or adding a receipt after a dated payment (thus constructed as improving) decreases preferences for those prospects. Conversely, adding a small payment after a dated receipt (thus constructed as deteriorating) or adding a small payment before a delayed payment (thus constructed as deteriorating) increases preferences for those prospects.

Keywords: sequences; intertemporal choice; dominance; a preference for improvement; salience (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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