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Elicitation and Context Effects in Judgments: Fixed Sum Versus Fixed Scale Frames

  • John R. Doyle

    (Cardiff Business School, University of Wales, Cardiff CF1 3EU, United Kingdom)

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    Two apparently similar methods for making numerical judgments about a set of objects (point allocation and direct rating) have been shown to yield different profiles of values (here, numerical judgments) attached to Ranks. Direct rating typically leads to a nearly linear relationship of Value with Rank. When using point allocation, people tend to produce a half U-shape of Value with Rank, evidenced by a positive quadratic term in Rank, which is not present for direct rating. We argue that point allocation imposes a fixed-sum frame on the judgment task. Furthermore, certain problems, such as allocating a budget, are intrinsically framed as fixed-sum. These problems also lead to quadratic curvature of numerical judgment with Rank. We discuss the implications of these effects, both in formal and informal contexts.

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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 45 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 7 (July)
    Pages: 972-979

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:45:y:1999:i:7:p:972-979
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    1. F. Hutton Barron & Bruce E. Barrett, 1996. "Decision Quality Using Ranked Attribute Weights," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(11), pages 1515-1523, November.
    2. Kmietowicz, ZW & Pearman, AD, 1984. "Decision theory, linear partial information and statistical dominance," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 391-399.
    3. Weber, Martin & Borcherding, Katrin, 1993. "Behavioral influences on weight judgments in multiattribute decision making," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-12, May.
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