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"Bi-Matching": A New Preference Assessment Method to Reduce Compatibility Effects


  • Philippe Delquié

    (Department of Economics and Management, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 61 avenue du Président Wilson 94235 Cachan Cedex, France)


Preference models and utility functions are often assessed by eliciting value trade-offs among attributes. Prior research has shown that trade-off judgments can be biased in systematic ways: for example, the attribute which is used as response receives more relative subjective weight, i.e. the so-called scale compatibility effects (Tversky et al. [Tversky, A., S. Sattath, P. Slovic. 1988. Contingent weighting in judgment and choice. Psych. Rev. 95 371--384.]). This paper proposes a new procedure to elicit value trade-offs called bidimensional matching, or "bi-matching", designed to alleviate this effect. Bi-matching differs from traditional trade-off judgments, in that both attributes are adjusted simultaneously to reach indifference judgments. Bi-matching is compared with simple matching and choice in four experimental studies, to measure preferences for lotteries and riskless multiattribute alternatives. The main results are: (1) bi-matching produces trade-offs intermediate between those derived from matching on the "more important" attribute and matching on the less important attribute, although closer to the former; (2) the trade-offs derived from choice reflect more relative weight on the more important dimension than those from bi-matching; (3) bi-matching appears to reduce response error compared to standard matching. These results are generally consistent with theoretical predictions. We discuss the normative question of which preference assessment method is preferable. The current results as a whole and the built-in features of the bi-matching procedure already position this elicitation method as a worthwhile alternative to traditional methods for helping decision-makers introspect and construct their value trade-offs.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Delquié, 1997. ""Bi-Matching": A New Preference Assessment Method to Reduce Compatibility Effects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(5), pages 640-658, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:43:y:1997:i:5:p:640-658

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    Cited by:

    1. Han Bleichrodt & Jose Maria Abellan-Perpiñan & Jose Luis Pinto-Prades & Ildefonso Mendez-Martinez, 2007. "Resolving Inconsistencies in Utility Measurement Under Risk: Tests of Generalizations of Expected Utility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(3), pages 469-482, March.
    2. Han Bleichrodt & José-Luis Pinto-Prades, 2004. "The Validity of QALYs Under Non-Expected Utility," Working Papers 113, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. Richard M. Anderson & Benjamin F. Hobbs, 2002. "Using a Bayesian Approach to Quantify Scale Compatibility Bias," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(12), pages 1555-1568, December.
    4. Aurélien Baillon & Han Bleichrodt & Umut Keskin & Olivier L'Haridon & Author-Name: Chen Li, 2013. "Learning under ambiguity: An experiment using initial public offerings on a stock market," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201331, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    5. Han Bleichrodt, 2002. "A new explanation for the difference between time trade-off utilities and standard gamble utilities," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(5), pages 447-456.


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