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Preference reversals in judgment and choice

Marcus Selart

No kyvtq, SocArXiv from Center for Open Science

Abstract: According to normative decision theory there exists a principle of procedure invariance which states that a decision maker's preference order should remain the same, independently of which response mode is used. For example, the decision maker should express the same preference independently of whether he or she has to judge or decide. Nevertheless, previous research in behavioral decision making has suggested that judgments and choices yield different preference orders in both the risky and the riskless domain. In the latter, the prominence effect has been demonstrated. The main purpose of the present series of experiments was to test cognitive explanations which account for the prominence effect. One of the explanations provided a psychological account based primarily on decision-strategy compatibility. Two other explanations built on information structuring approaches. In the first one, the general idea was that decision makers differentiate between alternatives by value and belief restructuring. In the second approach, violations of invariance were assumed to be attributed to the information structure of the task which in many cases demand problem simplification. A prominence effect was in most experiments found for both choices and preference ratings. This finding spoke against the strategy compatibility explanation. Instead, the different forms of cognitive restructuring provided a better account. However, none of these provided a single explanation. Yet, the structure compatibility explanation appeared to be the more viable one, in particular of the relation between experimental manipulations and response mode outcomes. The predictions of the value-belief restructuring explanation, on the other hand, seemed to be more valid for the prominence effect found in choice than for preference ratings.

Date: 2024-04-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-dcm, nep-exp and nep-upt
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DOI: 10.31219/

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