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Taking the Broad Perspective: Risky Choices in Repeated Proficiency Tasks

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  • Amos Schurr
  • Yaakov Kareev
  • Judith Avrahami
  • Ilana Ritov
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    Abstract

    In performing skill-based tasks individuals often face a choice between easier, less demanding alternatives, but ones whose expected payoffs in case of success are lower, and difficult, more demanding alternatives whose expected payoffs in case of success are higher: What piece to play in a musical competition, whether to operate a camera in a manual or automatic mode, etc. We maintain that the decision-maker’s perspective – whether narrow or broad – is one determinant of choice, and subsequent satisfaction, in such tasks. In two experiments involving dart throwing and answering general-knowledge trivia questions, perspective was manipulated through choice procedure: A sequential choice procedure, with task difficulty chosen one at a time, was used to induce a narrow perspective while an aggregate-choice procedure was used to induce a broad perspective. In two additional experiments, both involving a sequential-choice procedure perspective was manipulated through priming. As predicted, in all experiments inducement of a narrow perspective resulted in a higher probability of choosing the more difficult task; it also led to lower-than-anticipated overall satisfaction.

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    File URL: http://ratio.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/publications/dp621.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem in its series Discussion Paper Series with number dp621.

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    Length: 18 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp621

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    Related research

    Keywords: Perspective; joint vs. separate evaluation; skill based decisions;

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    1. Drazen Prelec & George Loewenstein, 1991. "Decision Making Over Time and Under Uncertainty: A Common Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(7), pages 770-786, July.
    2. Zeelenberg, M., 1999. "Anticipated regret, expected feedback and behavioral decision-making," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-80656, Tilburg University.
    3. Hsee, Christopher K & Leclerc, France, 1998. " Will Products Look More Attractive When Presented Separately or Together?," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 175-86, September.
    4. Luce, Mary Frances, 1998. " Choosing to Avoid: Coping with Negatively Emotion-Laden Consumer Decisions," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 409-33, March.
    5. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151.
    6. Simona Botti & Kristina Orfali & Sheena S. Iyengar, 2009. "Tragic Choices: Autonomy and Emotional Responses to Medical Decisions," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(3), pages 337 - 352.
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