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Updating our beliefs about inconsistency: The Monty-Hall case


  • Baratgin, Jean


In the experiments on the Monty-Hall puzzle, a large majority of participants give a different response from the Experimenters' Bayesian solution. We analyze this discrepancy as a problem of interpretation of the revision process of probabilities, induced by the statement of the Monty-Hall puzzle. Experimenters' solution actually stems from a traditional focusing situation, whereas participants may, for pragmatic reasons, build an updating representation of the puzzle. We establish that the descriptive explanations for participants' modal response provided by the psychological literature on Monty-Hall such as the ones based on heuristics can be translated into the adequate rule of revision in this updating framework.

Suggested Citation

  • Baratgin, Jean, 2009. "Updating our beliefs about inconsistency: The Monty-Hall case," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 67-95, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:matsoc:v:57:y:2009:i:1:p:67-95

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bryan Caplan, 2000. "Rational Irrationality: A Framework for the Neoclassical-Behavioral Debate," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 191-211, Spring.
    2. Jean Baratgin & Guy Politzer, 2007. "The psychology of dynamic probability judgment: order effect, normative theories, and experimental methodology," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 6(1), pages 53-66, June.
    3. John Geanakoplos & (**), Moshe Y. Vardi & Joseph Y. Halpern & Ronald Fagin, 1999. "The hierarchical approach to modeling knowledge and common knowledge," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 28(3), pages 331-365.
    4. Billot, Antoine & Walliser, Bernard, 1999. "Epistemic properties of knowledge hierarchies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 185-205, October.
    5. Craig R. Fox & Robert T. Clemen, 2005. "Subjective Probability Assessment in Decision Analysis: Partition Dependence and Bias Toward the Ignorance Prior," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(9), pages 1417-1432, September.
    6. Sloman, Steven A. & Over, David & Slovak, Lila & Stibel, Jeffrey M., 2003. "Frequency illusions and other fallacies," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 296-309, July.
    7. Brian D. Kluger & Steve B. Wyatt, 2004. "Are Judgment Errors Reflected in Market Prices and Allocations? Experimental Evidence Based on the Monty Hall Problem," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(3), pages 969-998, June.
    8. Bernard Walliser & Denis Zwirn, 2002. "Can Bayes' Rule be Justified by Cognitive Rationality Principles?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 95-135, September.
    9. Jean Baratgin & Guy Politzer, 2006. "Is the mind Bayesian? The case for agnosticism," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 5(1), pages 1-38, June.
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