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Testing Alternative Explanations of Cyclical Choices

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  • Starmer, Chris
  • Sugden, Robert

Abstract

In two previously reported experiments, Graham Loomes, Chris Starmer, and Robert Sugden have found that choices are systematically nontransitive, following a pattern of 'cycling asymmetry' predicted by regret theory. However, there are other potential explanations for these observations. This paper reports four experiments designed to discriminate between alternative explanations. There are three main findings. First, when the original experiments are replicated, the same cycling asymmetry is found. Second, this pattern is not the result of event-splitting effects. Third, both the frequency and the asymmetry of cycles are greater when choice problems are presented in act/event matrices than when the options are described separately. Copyright 1998 by The London School of Economics and Political Science

Suggested Citation

  • Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1998. "Testing Alternative Explanations of Cyclical Choices," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(259), pages 347-361, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:65:y:1998:i:259:p:347-61
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    Cited by:

    1. Birnbaum, Michael H. & Gutierrez, Roman J., 2007. "Testing for intransitivity of preferences predicted by a lexicographic semi-order," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 96-112, September.
    2. Birnbaum, Michael H. & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2006. "Empirical Tests of Intransitivity Predicted by Models of Risky Choice," Economics Working Papers 2006-10, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    3. Aurélien Baillon & Han Bleichrodt & Alessandra Cillo, 2015. "A Tailor-Made Test of Intransitive Choice," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 63(1), pages 198-211, February.
    4. Dittmar, Helga & Drury, John, 2000. "Self-image - is it in the bag? A qualitative comparison between "ordinary" and "excessive" consumers," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 109-142, April.
    5. Amélie Vrijdags, 2010. "An experimental investigation of transitivity in set ranking," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(1), pages 213-232, February.
    6. Humphrey, Steven J., 2004. "Feedback-conditional regret theory and testing regret-aversion in risky choice," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 839-857, December.
    7. Au, Pak Hung & Kawai, Keiichi, 2011. "Sequentially rationalizable choice with transitive rationales," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 608-614.
    8. Ulrich Schmidt & Michael Stolpe, 2011. "Transitivity in health utility measurement: An experimental analysis," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-4, December.
    9. Ulrich Schmidt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2008. "Third-generation prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 203-223, June.
    10. Humphrey, Steven J., 2000. "The common consequence effect: testing a unified explanation of recent mixed evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 239-262, March.
    11. Michael Birnbaum & Ulrich Schmidt, 2010. "Testing transitivity in choice under risk," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(4), pages 599-614, October.
    12. Kobi Kriesler & Shmuel Nitzan, 2009. "Framing-based Choice: A Model of Decision-making Under Risk," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 25, pages 65-89.
    13. Han Bleichrodt & Peter P. Wakker, 2015. "Regret Theory: A Bold Alternative to the Alternatives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(583), pages 493-532, March.
    14. repec:kap:theord:v:84:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11238-017-9629-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Michael Birnbaum & Ulrich Schmidt, 2008. "An experimental investigation of violations of transitivity in choice under uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 77-91, August.
    16. Krähmer, Daniel & Stone, Rebecca, 2005. "Regret in Dynamic Decision Problems," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 71, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

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