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An experimental analysis of bounded rationality: Applying insights from behavioral economics to information systems

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  • Franziska Brecht
  • Oliver Günther
  • Werner Güth

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group)

  • Ksenia Koroleva
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    Abstract

    The paradigm of bounded rationality considers the limited ability of individuals to make consistent and rational choices. Due to the scarcity of research on this phenomenon in information systems, we conducted an experimental study investigating decision-making regarding risk preferences and social preferences. Moreover, we explored the stability of these preferences under different conditions and uncovered the role of information retrieval in individual decision-making. We find that although individuals are generally risk-averse and egoistic, none of these preferences is stable under the conditions tested which provides indices of boundedly rational decision-making. Although the information retrieved by participants generally allows to infer their preferences, the increasing amount and complexity of this information again often results in boundedly rational behavior.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2011-065.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2011-065

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    Related research

    Keywords: bounded rationality; experimental design; information retrieval; stability of attitudes and behavior; cognitive tracing; behavioral economics; behavioral information systems;

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    1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
    3. Camerer, Colin & Weber, Martin, 1992. " Recent Developments in Modeling Preferences: Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 325-70, October.
    4. M. Vittoria Levati & Werner Güth & Matteo Ploner, 2005. "On the social dimension of time and risk preferences: An experimental study," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-26, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    5. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
    6. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2003. "Behavioral Game Theory. Experiments in Strategic Interaction: Colin F. Camerer, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2003, p. 550, Price $65.00/[UK pound]42.95, ISBN 0-691-09039-4," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 717-720, December.
    7. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
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