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On the conjunction fallacy in probability judgment: New experimental evidence regarding Linda

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  • Charness, Gary
  • Karni, Edi
  • Levin, Dan

Abstract

This paper reports the results of a series of experiments designed to test whether and to what extent individuals succumb to the conjunction fallacy. Using an experimental design of Tversky and Kahneman (1983), it finds that given mild incentives, the proportion of individuals who violate the conjunction principle is significantly lower than that reported by Kahneman and Tversky. Moreover, when subjects are allowed to consult with other subjects, these proportions fall dramatically, particularly when the size of the group rises from two to three. These findings cast serious doubts about the importance and robustness of such violations for the understanding of real-life economic decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Charness, Gary & Karni, Edi & Levin, Dan, 2010. "On the conjunction fallacy in probability judgment: New experimental evidence regarding Linda," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 551-556, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:68:y:2010:i:2:p:551-556
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Stephan Jagau & Theo (T.J.S.) Offerman, 2017. "Defaults, Normative Anchors and the Occurrence of Risky and Cautious Shifts," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-083/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Alessia Isopi & Daniele Nosenzo & Chris Starmer, 2014. "Does consultation improve decision-making?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(3), pages 377-388, October.
    4. Giovanna Devetag & Francesca Ceccacci & Paola De Salvo, 2013. "Do Reputation Concerns Make Behavioral Biases Disappear? The Conjunction Fallacy on Facebook and Mechanical Turk," CEEL Working Papers 1303, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
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    6. Paradiso, Antonio & Kumar, Saten & Margani, Patrizia, 2014. "Are Italian consumer confidence adjustments asymmetric? A macroeconomic and psychological motives approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 48-63.
    7. Marco Casari & Jingjing Zhang & Christine Jackson, 2016. "Same process, different outcomes: group performance in an acquiring a company experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(4), pages 764-791, December.
    8. Thomas Boyer-Kassem & Sébastien Duchêne & Eric Guerci, 2016. "Quantum-like models cannot account for the conjunction fallacy," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(4), pages 479-510, November.
    9. Jeanette Brosid-Koch & Timo Heinrich & Christoph Helbach, 2013. "Does Truth Win When Teams Reason Strategically?," Ruhr Economic Papers 0396, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Besedes, Tibor & Deck, Cary & Quintanar, Sarah & Sarangi, Sudipta & Shor, Mikhael, 2011. "Free-Riding and Performance in Collaborative and Non-Collaborative Groups," MPRA Paper 33948, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Andreas Ortmann & Leonidas Spiliopoulos, 2017. "The beauty of simplicity? (Simple) heuristics and the opportunities yet to be realized," Chapters,in: Handbook of Behavioural Economics and Smart Decision-Making, chapter 7, pages 119-136 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Gary Charness & Edi Karni & Dan Levin, 2013. "Ambiguity attitudes and social interactions: An experimental investigation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 1-25, February.
    13. Gary Charness & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "Groups Make Better Self-Interested Decisions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 157-176, Summer.
    14. Bougheas, Spiros & Nieboer, Jeroen & Sefton, Martin, 2013. "Risk-taking in social settings: Group and peer effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 273-283.
    15. Soo Hong Chew & Junjian Yi & Junsen Zhang & Songfa Zhong, 2016. "Education and anomalies in decision making: Experimental evidence from Chinese adult twins," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 163-200, December.
    16. Stöckl, Thomas & Huber, Jürgen & Kirchler, Michael & Lindner, Florian, 2015. "Hot hand and gambler's fallacy in teams: Evidence from investment experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 327-339.
    17. Élise PAYZAN LE NESTOUR, 2010. "Bayesian Learning in UnstableSettings: Experimental Evidence Based on the Bandit Problem," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 10-28, Swiss Finance Institute.
    18. Charness, Gary & Cooper, David & Grossman, Zachary, 2015. "Silence is Golden: Â Communication Costs and Team Problem Solving," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3n25b620, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    19. Jingjing Zhang, 2012. "Communication in asymmetric group competition over public goods," ECON - Working Papers 069, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    20. Brosig-Koch, Jeannette & Heinrich, Timo & Helbach, Christoph, 2014. "Does truth win when teams reason strategically?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 86-89.
    21. Casari, Marco & Zhang, Jingjing & Jackson, Christine, 2015. "Same Process, Different Outcomes: Group Performance in an Acquiring a Company Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 9614, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. Konstantinos Georgalos & Enrica Carbone & Gerardo Infante, 2016. "Individual vs. Group Decision Making: an Experiment on Dynamic Choice under Risk and Ambiguity," Working Papers 138739716, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    23. Li Hao & Daniel Houser, 2012. "Belief elicitation in the presence of naïve respondents: An experimental study," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 161-180, April.
    24. Giamattei, Marcus & Graf Lambsdorff, Johann, 2015. "classEx: An online software for classroom experiments," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-68-15, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.

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