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Are inconsistent decisions better? An experiment with pairwise comparisons

  • Linares, Pedro

This paper tries to contribute to the well-known and lengthy discussion on whether we should allow decision makers to be inconsistent, or, to put it in another way, if intransitive decisions better represent their preferences. We will focus specifically on the multiple-criteria decision making problem, since it is one of the most usual stances where this intransitivity appears. Results from an experiment carried out with graduate students shows that, when intransitivities are removed, the preferences of decision makers are not better represented, and therefore that the effort to do so may not be justified.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VCT-4R68NC9-8/2/6ef220a743cfd07976f7b43fd63bcc23
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Operational Research.

Volume (Year): 193 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 492-498

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:193:y:2009:i:2:p:492-498
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eor

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  1. Tversky, Amos & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Anomalies: Preference Reversals," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 201-11, Spring.
  2. Fishburn, Peter C, 1991. " Nontransitive Preferences in Decision Theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 113-34, April.
  3. Shafer, Wayne J, 1974. "The Nontransitive Consumer," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(5), pages 913-19, September.
  4. James S. Dyer, 1990. "Remarks on the Analytic Hierarchy Process," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(3), pages 249-258, March.
  5. Yoram Wind & Thomas L. Saaty, 1980. "Marketing Applications of the Analytic Hierarchy Process," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(7), pages 641-658, July.
  6. Tversky, Amos & Slovic, Paul & Kahneman, Daniel, 1990. "The Causes of Preference Reversal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 204-17, March.
  7. Slovic, Paul & Lichtenstein, Sarah, 1983. "Preference Reversals: A Broader Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 596-605, September.
  8. Fishburn, Peter C & LaValle, Irving H, 1988. "Context-Dependent Choice with Nonlinear and Nontransitive Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1221-39, September.
  9. Gonzalez-Pachon, Jacinto & Romero, Carlos, 2004. "A method for dealing with inconsistencies in pairwise comparisons," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 158(2), pages 351-361, October.
  10. James S. Dyer, 1990. "A Clarification of "Remarks on the Analytic Hierarchy Process"," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(3), pages 274-275, March.
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