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The Fourfold Pattern of Risk Attitudes in Choice and Pricing Tasks

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  • Lise Vesterlund
  • Bill Harbaugh
  • Kate Krause

Abstract

We examine the robustness of the fourfold pattern of risk attitudes under two elicitation procedures. We find that individuals are, on average, risk-seeking over low-probability gains and high-probability losses and risk-averse over high-probability gains and low-probability losses when we elicit prices for the gambles. However, a choice-based elicitation procedure, where participants choose between a gamble and its expected value, yields individual decisions that are indistinguishable from random choice. Sensitivity to elicitation procedure holds between and within participants, and remains when participants are allowed to review and change decisions. The price elicitation procedure is more complex; this finding may be further evidence that an increase in cognitive load exacerbates behavioural anomalies. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 268.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision: Jan 2005
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:268

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Cited by:
  1. Paolo Crosetto & Antonio Filippin, 2013. "The “bomb” risk elicitation task," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 31-65, August.
  2. Paolo Crosetto & Antonio Filippin, 2013. "A Theoretical and Experimental Appraisal of Five Risk Elicitation Methods," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-009, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  3. Stefan Zeisberger & Dennis Vrecko & Thomas Langer, 2012. "Measuring the time stability of Prospect Theory preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 359-386, March.
  4. Chetan Dave & Catherine Eckel & Cathleen Johnson & Christian Rojas, 2010. "Eliciting risk preferences: When is simple better?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 219-243, December.
  5. Susan Laury & Melayne McInnes & J. Swarthout, 2009. "Insurance decisions for low-probability losses," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 17-44, August.
  6. Helga Fehr-Duda & Thomas Epper, 2012. "Probability and Risk: Foundations and Economic Implications of Probability-Dependent Risk Preferences," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 567-593, 07.
  7. Malul, Miki & Rosenboim, Mosi & Shavit, Tal, 2013. "So when are you loss averse? Testing the S-shaped function in pricing and allocation tasks," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 101-112.

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