IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/inm/ormnsc/v46y2000i11p1485-1496.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Parameter-Free Elicitation of the Probability Weighting Function in Medical Decision Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Han Bleichrodt

    () (iMTA/iBMG, Erasmus University, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Jose Luis Pinto

    () (Department of Economics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain)

Abstract

An important reason why people violate expected utility theory is probability weighting. Previous studies on the probability weighting function typically assume a specific parametric form, exclude heterogeneity in individual preferences, and exclusively consider monetary decision making. This study presents a method to elicit the probability weighting function in rank-dependent expected utility theory that makes no prior assumptions about the functional form of the probability weighting function. We use both aggregate and individual subject data, thereby allowing for heterogeneity of individual preferences, and we examine probability weighting in a new domain, medical decision making. There is significant evidence of probability weighting both at the aggregate and at the individual subject level. The modal probability weighting function is inverse S-shaped, displaying both lower subadditivity and upper subadditivity. Probability weighting is in particular relevant at the boundaries of the unit interval. Compared to studies involving monetary outcomes, we generally find more elevation of the probability weighting function. The robustness of the empirical findings on probability weighting indicates its importance. Ignoring probability weighting in modeling decision under risk and in utility measurement is likely to lead to descriptively invalid theories and distorted elicitations.

Suggested Citation

  • Han Bleichrodt & Jose Luis Pinto, 2000. "A Parameter-Free Elicitation of the Probability Weighting Function in Medical Decision Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1485-1496, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:11:p:1485-1496
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.46.11.1485.12086
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mark McCord & Richard de Neufville, 1986. ""Lottery Equivalents": Reduction of the Certainty Effect Problem in Utility Assessment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(1), pages 56-60, January.
    2. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
    3. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
    4. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    5. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
    6. Wu, George & Gonzalez, Richard, 1998. "Common Consequence Conditions in Decision Making under Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 115-139, April.
    7. Peter Wakker & Daniel Deneffe, 1996. "Eliciting von Neumann-Morgenstern Utilities When Probabilities Are Distorted or Unknown," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(8), pages 1131-1150, August.
    8. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-1289, November.
    9. Lattimore, Pamela K. & Baker, Joanna R. & Witte, Ann D., 1992. "The influence of probability on risky choice: A parametric examination," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 377-400, May.
    10. Beattie, Jane & Loomes, Graham, 1997. "The Impact of Incentives upon Risky Choice Experiments," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 155-168, March.
    11. George Wu & Richard Gonzalez, 1996. "Curvature of the Probability Weighting Function," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(12), pages 1676-1690, December.
    12. Pamela K. Lattimore & Joanna R. Baker & A. Dryden Witte, 1992. "The Influence Of Probability on Risky Choice: A parametric Examination," NBER Technical Working Papers 0081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Tversky, Amos & Wakker, Peter, 1995. "Risk Attitudes and Decision Weights," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1255-1280, November.
    14. Dubourg, W R & Jones-Lee, M W & Loomes, Graham, 1994. "Imprecise Preferences and the WTP-WTA Disparity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 115-133, October.
    15. 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.
    16. Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2000. "Parameter-Free Elicitation of Utility and Probability Weighting Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 1497-1512.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:11:p:1485-1496. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/inforea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.