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Framing as Path Dependence

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  • GOLD, NATALIE
  • LIST, CHRISTIAN

Abstract

A framing effect occurs when an agent s choices are not invariant under changes in the way a decision problem is presented, e.g. changes in the way options are described (violation of description invariance) or preferences are elicited (violation of procedure invariance). Here we identify those rationality violations that underlie framing effects. We attribute to the agent a sequential decision process in which a target proposition and several background propositions are considered. We suggest that the agent exhibits a framing effect if and only if two conditions are met. First, different presentations of the decision problem lead the agent to consider the propositions in a different order (the empirical condition). Second, different such decision paths lead to different decisions on the target proposition (the logical condition). The second condition holds when the agent s initial dispositions on the propositions are implicitly inconsistent, which may be caused by violations of deductive closure. Our account is consistent with some observations made by psychologists and provides a unified framework for explaining violations of description and procedure invariance.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Economics and Philosophy.

Volume (Year): 20 (2004)
Issue (Month): 02 (October)
Pages: 253-277

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Handle: RePEc:cup:ecnphi:v:20:y:2004:i:02:p:253-277_00

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Cited by:
  1. Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde & Raphaël Giraud, 2009. "Framing effects as violations of extensionality," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 67(4), pages 385-404, October.
  2. repec:hal:wpaper:ijn_00000656 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. repec:hal:cesptp:ijn_00000656 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Dietrich Franz & List Christian, 2011. "Where do preferences come from?," Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  5. Whynes, David K. & Frew, Emma J. & Philips, Zoe N. & Covey, Judith & Smith, Richard D., 2007. "On the numerical forms of contingent valuation responses," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 462-476, August.

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