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Manipulating Reliance on Intuition Reduces Risk and Ambiguity Aversion

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Author Info

  • Jeffrey V. Butler

    (EIEF)

  • Luigi Guiso

    (EIEF)

  • Tullio Jappelli

    (University of Naples "Federico II" and CSEF)

Abstract

Prior research suggests that those who rely on intuition rather than effortful reasoning when making decisions are less averse to risk and ambiguity. The evidence is largely correlational, however, leaving open the question of the direction of causality. In this paper, we present experimental evidence of causation running from reliance on intuition to risk and ambiguity preferences. We directly manipulate participants’ predilection to rely on intuition and find that enhancing reliance on intuition lowers the probability of being ambiguity averse by 30 percentage points and increases risk tolerance by about 30 percent in the experimental subpopulation where we would a priori expect the manipulation to be successful (males).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) in its series EIEF Working Papers Series with number 1301.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision: Jan 2013
Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:1301

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  1. Michel Tuan Pham & Leonard Lee & Andrew T. Stephen, 2012. "Feeling the Future: The Emotional Oracle Effect," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(3), pages 461 - 477.
  2. Jeffrey V. Butler & Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2011. "The role of intuition and reasoning in driving aversion to risk and ambiguity," Economics Working Papers ECO2011/13, European University Institute.
  3. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
  4. Leonard Lee & On Amir & Dan Ariely, 2009. "In Search of Homo Economicus: Cognitive Noise and the Role of Emotion in Preference Consistency," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 173 - 187.
  5. Charles R. Plott & Kathryn Zeiler, 2005. "The Willingness to Pay–Willingness to Accept Gap, the "Endowment Effect," Subject Misconceptions, and Experimental Procedures for Eliciting Valuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 530-545, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Ralf Bergheim & Michael W.M. Roos, 2013. "Intuition and Reasoning in Choosing Ambiguous and Risky Lotteries," Ruhr Economic Papers 0440, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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