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Attribute Conflict and Preference Uncertainty: Effects on Judgment Time and Error

Author

Listed:
  • Gregory W. Fischer

    () (Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708)

  • Mary Frances Luce

    () (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104)

  • Jianmin Jia

    () (Faculty of Business Administration, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong)

Abstract

This research investigates preference uncertainty generated as a function of specific alternative characteristics during multiattribute evaluative judgments. We propose that preference uncertainty has at least two behavioral manifestations: longer judgment times and greater response error in expressed preferences. We investigate two hypotheses regarding stimulus-based causes of preference uncertainty. As predicted by our attribute conflict hypothesis, greater within-alternative conflict (discrepancy among the attributes of an evaluative alternative) led to longer judgment times and greater response error. As predicted by our attribute extremity hypothesis, greater attribute extremity (very high or low attribute values) resulted in shorter judgment times and less response error. We also found that judgment times and response errors were strongly positively correlated at the item level, consistent with our assumption that preference uncertainty generated by stimulus characteristics is manifested in judgment time and error. Finally, we found that the item-level preference uncertainty effects proposed here operate in parallel with strategy-level, effort-accuracy tradeoffs observable across participants. These findings are consistent with the RandMAU random multiattribute utility model developed in a companion article by Fischer et al. (2000).

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory W. Fischer & Mary Frances Luce & Jianmin Jia, 2000. "Attribute Conflict and Preference Uncertainty: Effects on Judgment Time and Error," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(1), pages 88-103, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:1:p:88-103
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.46.1.88.15131
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-824, December.
    2. Kathryn Blackmond Laskey & Gregory W. Fischer, 1987. "Estimating Utility Functions in the Presence of Response Error," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(8), pages 965-980, August.
    3. Gregory W. Fischer & Ziv Carmon & Dan Ariely & Gal Zauberman, 1999. "Goal-Based Construction of Preferences: Task Goals and the Prominence Effect," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(8), pages 1057-1075, August.
    4. Luce, Mary Frances, 1998. " Choosing to Avoid: Coping with Negatively Emotion-Laden Consumer Decisions," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 409-433, March.
    5. James G. March, 1978. "Bounded Rationality, Ambiguity, and the Engineering of Choice," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 587-608, Autumn.
    6. Gregory W. Fischer & Jianmin Jia & Mary Frances Luce, 2000. "Attribute Conflict and Preference Uncertainty: The RandMAU Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(5), pages 669-684, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kräussl, Roman & Lucas, André & Siegmann, Arjen, 2012. "Risk aversion under preference uncertainty," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-7.
    2. Gregory W. Fischer & Jianmin Jia & Mary Frances Luce, 2000. "Attribute Conflict and Preference Uncertainty: The RandMAU Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(5), pages 669-684, May.
    3. repec:spr:grdene:v:20:y:2011:i:6:d:10.1007_s10726-010-9188-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Conlon, B.J. & Dellaert, B.G.C. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2001. "Complexity and Accuracy in Consumer Choice : The Double Benefits of Being the Consistently Better Brand," Discussion Paper 2001-54, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Erik Maier & Robert Wilken & Florian Dost, 2015. "The double benefits of consumer certainty: combining risk and range effects," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 473-488, December.
    6. Simsek, Zeki & Lubatkin, Michael H. & Veiga, John F. & Dino, Richard N., 2009. "The role of an entrepreneurially alert information system in promoting corporate entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 810-817, August.
    7. Philippe Delquié, 2003. "Optimal Conflict in Preference Assessment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(1), pages 102-115, January.
    8. Haiyan Xu & Keith Hipel & D. Kilgour & Ye Chen, 2010. "Combining strength and uncertainty for preferences in the graph model for conflict resolution with multiple decision makers," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(4), pages 497-521, October.
    9. repec:ksa:szemle:1772 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Manel Baucells & Rakesh K. Sarin, 2003. "Group Decisions with Multiple Criteria," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(8), pages 1105-1118, August.
    11. 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.
    12. repec:eee:intfor:v:33:y:2017:i:3:p:652-661 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Deparis, Stéphane & Mousseau, Vincent & Öztürk, Meltem & Pallier, Christophe & Huron, Caroline, 2012. "When conflict induces the expression of incomplete preferences," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 221(3), pages 593-602.
    14. Palmeira, Mauricio M. & Krishnan, H. Shanker, 2008. "Criteria instability and the isolated option effect," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 153-167, July.
    15. Scholten, Marc, 2002. "Conflict-mediated choice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 683-718, July.
    16. Conlon, B.J. & Dellaert, B.G.C. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2001. "Optimal Effort in Consumer Choice : Theory and Experimental Evidence for Binary Choice," Discussion Paper 2001-51, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    17. Elie Ofek & Muhamet Yildiz & Ernan Haruvy, 2007. "The Impact of Prior Decisions on Subsequent Valuations in a Costly Contemplation Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(8), pages 1217-1233, August.

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