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Risk and rationality: The effects of mood and decision rules on probability weighting

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  • Fehr-Duda, Helga
  • Epper, Thomas
  • Bruhin, Adrian
  • Schubert, Renate

Abstract

Empirical research has shown that people tend to overweight small probabilities and underweight large probabilities when valuing risky prospects, but little is known about factors influencing the shape of the probability weighting curve. Based on a laboratory experiment with monetary incentives, we demonstrate that pre-existing good mood is significantly associated with women’s probability weights: Women in a better than normal mood tend to weight probabilities relatively more optimistically. Many men, however, seem to be immunized against effects of incidental mood by applying a mechanical decision criterion such as maximization of expected value.

Suggested Citation

  • Fehr-Duda, Helga & Epper, Thomas & Bruhin, Adrian & Schubert, Renate, 2011. "Risk and rationality: The effects of mood and decision rules on probability weighting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 14-24.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:78:y:2011:i:1:p:14-24
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2010.12.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Drichoutis, Andreas C. & Nayga, Rodolfo M., 2013. "Eliciting risk and time preferences under induced mood states," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 18-27.
    2. Delis, Manthos D. & Mylonidis, Nikolaos, 2015. "Trust, happiness, and households’ financial decisions," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 82-92.
    3. Colasante, Annarita & Marini, Matteo M. & Russo, Alberto, 2017. "Incidental emotions and risk-taking: An experimental analysis," MPRA Paper 76992, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Treffers, T. & Koellinger, Ph.D. & Picot, A.O., 2012. "In the Mood for Risk? A Random-Assignment Experiment Addressing the Effects of Moods on Risk Preferences," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2012-014-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    5. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2014. "Overconfidence, omens and gender heterogeneity: Results from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 237-252.
    6. Anna Conte & M. Vittoria Levati & Chiara Nardi, 2013. "The Role of Emotions on Risk Preferences: An Experimental Analysis," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-046, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    7. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2016. "Biology and Gender in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 10386, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Irene Comeig & Charles A. Holt & Ainhoa Jaramillo-Gutiérrez, 2015. "Dealing with risk: Gender, stakes, and probability effects," Discussion Papers in Economic Behaviour 0215, University of Valencia, ERI-CES.
    9. Vicki L. Bogan & Angela R. Fertig, 2013. "Portfolio Choice and Mental Health," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(3), pages 955-992.
    10. Klemens Keldenich & Marcus Klemm, 2014. "Double or nothing?! Small groups making decisions under risk in “Quiz Taxi”," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 243-274, August.
    11. Maria De Paola & Francesca Gioia & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2013. "Overconfidence, Omens And Emotions: Results From A Field Experiment," Working Papers 201303, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    12. repec:eee:soceco:v:68:y:2017:i:c:p:62-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Theresa Treffers & Philipp D. Koellinger & Arnold Picot, 2016. "Do Affective States Influence Risk Preferences?," Schmalenbach Business Review, Springer;Schmalenbach-Gesellschaft, vol. 17(3), pages 309-335, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Probability weighting function; Risk taking behavior; Incidental emotions; Rationality; Gender differences;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C49 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Other

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