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Grammatical mood and ambiguity aversion

Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde, Alda Mari, David Nicolas () and David Blunier
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Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde: Laboratory of modern economics - UP2 - Université Panthéon-Assas
Alda Mari: IJN - Institut Jean-Nicod - DEC - Département d'Etudes Cognitives - ENS Paris - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CdF (institution) - Collège de France - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Département de Philosophie - ENS Paris - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres
David Nicolas: IJN - Institut Jean-Nicod - DEC - Département d'Etudes Cognitives - ENS Paris - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CdF (institution) - Collège de France - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Département de Philosophie - ENS Paris - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres

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Abstract: This paper explores the impact of language on behaviour studying the impact of mood in a probabilistic choice context. Building on the idea of "aversion to ambiguity" according to which subjects prefer situations in which probabilities are known over those in which they are not known, we have systematically tested the association of sentence mood with choice situations. We found that with indicative the aversion to ambiguity is confirmed, whereas with the subjunctive, it is not. This indicates that grammatical features can influence the way in which subjects apprehend choices in probabilistic contexts. Goal While modern economic theories have soundly established a connection between economic behavior and psychology, there is a new and growing interest in the connection between language and behavior. This paper studies one aspect of this connection by addressing choices in probabilistic contexts. Specifically, we study how the verbalization of mental states accompanying choices in probabilistic contexts can modify what psychology based economic theories have labelled as the "standard" behavior. We show here that certain grammaticalized features of natural language can impact the expectations solely based on psychological considerations.

Keywords: subjunctive; mood; decision theory; language; ambiguity; risk (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-09-25
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-hpe, nep-neu and nep-upt
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02869834
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Published in ExLing 2019 10th International Conference of Experimental Linguistics, Sep 2019, Lisbonne, Portugal. pp.25 - 27

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