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Preference Reversal: Information-Processing Effect or Rational Non-transitive Choice?

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  • Loomes, Graham
  • Starmer, Chris
  • Sugden, Robert

Abstract

Preference reversal is often explained as an information-processing effect, whereby individuals respond differently to valuation problems than to straight choices. Regret theory offers the alternative explanation that individuals act on consistent, but nontransitive, preferences. Regret theory, in its most general form, is shown to make specific predictions about nontransitive pairwise choices that correspond with the preferences reversal phenomenon. Some experiments designed to discriminate between these two explanations are reported. The main finding is that, as regret theory predicts, the preference reversal phenomenon can be reproduced in situations in which subjects confront only choice problems. Copyright 1989 by Royal Economic Society.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 99 (1989)
Issue (Month): 395 (Supplement)
Pages: 140-51

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:99:y:1989:i:395:p:140-51

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Cited by:
  1. Birnbaum, Michael H. & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2006. "Empirical Tests of Intransitivity Predicted by Models of Risky Choice," Economics Working Papers 2006,10, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  2. Chris Starmer, 1996. "Explaining risky choices without assuming preferences," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 201-213, April.
  3. Nathan Berg & G. Biele & Gerd Gigerenzer, 2013. "Does Consistency Predict Accuracy of Beliefs?: Economists Surveyed About PSA," Working Papers 1308, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2013.
  4. Schmidt, Ulrich & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 2008. "Third-generation prospect theory," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 28932, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  5. Raphaël Giraud, 2005. "Anomalies de la théorie des préférences. Une interprétation et une proposition de formalisation," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(4), pages 829-854.
  6. Michael Birnbaum & Ulrich Schmidt, 2008. "An experimental investigation of violations of transitivity in choice under uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 77-91, August.
  7. S. Abu Turab Rizvi, 2001. "Preference Formation and the Axioms of Choice," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 141-159.
  8. Freemantle, Nick, 1996. "Are decisions taken by health care professionals rational? A non systematic review of experimental and quasi experimental literature," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 71-81, November.
  9. Elodie Brahic & Valérie Clément & Nathalie Moureau & Marion Vidal, 2008. "A la recherche des Merit Goods," Working Papers 08-08, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jun 2008.
  10. Kobi Kriesler & Shmuel Nitzan, 2009. "Framing-Based Choice: A Model of Decision-Making Under Risk," Working Papers 2009-17, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  11. Wei Lim & Joo Lee-Partridge & Soo Tan, 2008. "Revenue implication of auction value in k-price sealed-bid auctions: An experimental study," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 25-38, March.

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