What is the actual shape of perception utility?
AbstractCumulative Prospect Theory (Kahneman, Tversky, 1979, 1992) holds that the value function is described using a power function, and is concave for gains and convex for losses. These postulates are questioned on the basis of recently reported experiments, paradoxes (gain-loss separability violation), and brain activity research. This paper puts forward the hypothesis that perception utility is generally logarithmic in shape for both gains and losses, and only happens to be convex for losses when gains are not present in the problem context. This leads to a different evaluation of mixed prospects than is the case with Prospect Theory: losses are evaluated using a concave, rather than a convex, utility function. In this context, loss aversion appears to be nothing more than the result of applying a logarithmic utility function over the entire outcome domain. Importantly, the hypothesis enables a link to be established between perception utility and Portfo-lio Theory (Markowitz, 1952A). This is not possible in the case of the Prospect Theory value function due its shape at the origin.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 31715.
Date of creation: 20 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Prospect Theory; value function; perception utility; loss aversion; gain-loss separability violation; neuroscience; Portfolio Theory; Decision Utility Theory.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
- D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-07-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2011-07-02 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-NEU-2011-07-02 (Neuroeconomics)
- NEP-UPT-2011-07-02 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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