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Ambiguity seeking as a result of the status quo bias

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  • Mercè Roca
  • Robin Hogarth

    ()

  • A. John Maule

Abstract

Several factors affect attitudes toward ambiguity. What happens, however, when people are asked to exchange an ambiguous alternative in their possession for an unambiguous one? We present three experiments in which individuals preferred to retain the former. This status quo bias emerged both within- and between-subjects, with and without incentives, with different outcome distributions, and with endowments determined by both the experimenter and the participants themselves. Findings emphasize the need to account for the frames of reference under which evaluations of probabilistic information take place as well as modifications that should be incorporated into descriptive models of decision making.

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File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/882.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 882.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision: Jun 2006
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:882

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Ambiguity; risk; status quo bias; decision making; uncertainty; Leex;

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  1. Chow, Clare Chua & Sarin, Rakesh K, 2001. " Comparative Ignorance and the Ellsberg Paradox," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 129-39, March.
  2. Curley, Shawn P. & Yates, J. Frank & Abrams, Richard A., 1986. "Psychological sources of ambiguity avoidance," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 230-256, October.
  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.
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  7. Fox, Craig R & Tversky, Amos, 1995. "Ambiguity Aversion and Comparative Ignorance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 585-603, August.
  8. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
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  11. Heath, Chip & Tversky, Amos, 1991. " Preference and Belief: Ambiguity and Competence in Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-28, January.
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  13. Kip Smith & John Dickhaut & Kevin McCabe & José V. Pardo, 2002. "Neuronal Substrates for Choice Under Ambiguity, Risk, Gains, and Losses," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(6), pages 711-718, June.
  14. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S251-78, October.
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  16. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
  17. Camerer, Colin F. & Hogarth, Robin M., 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Working Papers 1059, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  18. W. Kip Viscusi & Wesley A. Magat & Joel Huber, 1987. "An Investigation of the Rationality of Consumer Valuations of Multiple Health Risks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(4), pages 465-479, Winter.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Aurélien Baillon & Laure Cabantous & Peter Wakker, 2012. "Aggregating imprecise or conflicting beliefs: An experimental investigation using modern ambiguity theories," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 115-147, April.
  2. Alpaslan Akay & Peter Martinsson & Haileselassie Medhin & Stefan Trautmann, 2012. "Attitudes toward uncertainty among the poor: an experiment in rural Ethiopia," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 453-464, September.
  3. Roca, Mercè & Maule, A. John, 2009. "The effects of endowment on the demand for probabilistic information," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 56-66, May.
  4. Ortoleva, Pietro, 2008. "Status Quo Bias, Multiple Priors and Uncertainty Aversion," MPRA Paper 12243, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Daniele Pennesi, 2013. "Endogenous Status Quo," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 314, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  6. Anat Bracha & Donald J. Brown, 2007. "Affective Decision Making: A Behavioral Theory of Choice," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1633R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Apr 2009.
  7. Pech, Wesley & Milan, Marcelo, 2009. "Behavioral economics and the economics of Keynes," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 891-902, December.
  8. Stefan T. Trautmann & Ulrich Schmidt, 2011. "Pricing risk and ambiguity: The effect of perspective taking," Kiel Working Papers 1727, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  9. Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter & Medhin, Haileselassie & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2009. "Attitudes toward Uncertainty among the Poor: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," IZA Discussion Papers 4225, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Arthur Snow, 2010. "Ambiguity and the value of information," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 133-145, April.
  11. L. Robin Keller & Rakesh K. Sarin & Jayavel Sounderpandian, 2007. "An examination of ambiguity aversion: Are two heads better than one?," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 2, pages 390-397, December.
  12. Anat Bracha & Donald J. Brown, 2010. "Affective Decision-Making: A Theory of Optimism-Bias," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1759, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.

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