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Bayes without Bernoulli: Simple Conditions for Probabilistically Sophisticated Choice

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  • Machina Mark J.
  • Schmeidler David

Abstract

In 1963, Anscombe and Aumann demonstrated that the introduction of an objective randomizing device into the Savage setting of subjective uncertainty considerably simplified the derivation of subjective probability from a decision maker's preferences over uncertain bets. The purpose of this paper is to present a more general derivation of classical subjective probability in such a framework, which neither assumes nor implies that the individual's risk preferences necessarily conform to the expected utility principle. We argue that the essence of "Bayesian rationality" is the assignment, correct manipulation, and proper updating of subjective event probablities when evaluating and comparing uncertain prospects, regardless of whether attitudes toward risk satisfy the expected utility property.
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  • Machina Mark J. & Schmeidler David, 1995. "Bayes without Bernoulli: Simple Conditions for Probabilistically Sophisticated Choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 106-128, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:67:y:1995:i:1:p:106-128
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    1. Sugden Robert, 1993. "An Axiomatic Foundation for Regret Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 159-180, June.
    2. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    3. Machina, Mark J, 1989. "Dynamic Consistency and Non-expected Utility Models of Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 1622-1668, December.
    4. Sugden, Robert, 1991. "Rational Choice: A Survey of Contributions from Economics and Philosophy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 751-785, July.
    5. David M. Grether, 1980. "Bayes Rule as a Descriptive Model: The Representativeness Heuristic," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 537-557.
    6. Camerer, Colin & Weber, Martin, 1992. "Recent Developments in Modeling Preferences: Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 325-370, October.
    7. Machina, Mark J, 1987. "Choice under Uncertainty: Problems Solved and Unsolved," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 121-154, Summer.
    8. 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.
    9. Machina, Mark J & Schmeidler, David, 1992. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 745-780, July.
    10. Munier, Bertrand, 1989. "New models of decision under uncertainty: An interpretative essay," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 307-317, February.
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