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Simple Models for Multiattribute Choice with Many Alternatives: When It Does and Does Not Pay to Face Trade-offs with Binary Attributes

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  • Robin M. Hogarth

    () (ICREA and Universitat Pompea Fabra, DEE 08005 Barcelona, Spain)

  • Natalia Karelaia

    () (HEC (Ecole des Hautes Études Commerciales), Université de Lausanne, Internef, 1015 Lausanne-Dorigny, Switzerland)

Abstract

Given the difficulties people experience in making trade-offs, what are the consequences of using simple models that avoid trade-offs? We examine choices by such models in environments where "true" preferences are linear and attributes are characterized by binary attributes. A deterministic elimination-by-aspects (DEBA) model is highly effective over a range of conditions. When preferences are quite compensatory, however, a modified equal weighting (EW) model that uses DEBA to resolve ties is more effective. We explore the sensitivity of results to errors in using DEBA, to different distributions of alternatives, and to error in "true" preferences. Under the conditions examined here, the outcomes of these "boundedly rational" models are highly consistent with "rational" models that explicitly confront trade-offs. We emphasize the importance of binary attributes in reaching these conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin M. Hogarth & Natalia Karelaia, 2005. "Simple Models for Multiattribute Choice with Many Alternatives: When It Does and Does Not Pay to Face Trade-offs with Binary Attributes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(12), pages 1860-1872, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:51:y:2005:i:12:p:1860-1872
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1050.0448
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Manel Baucells & Juan A. Carrasco & Robin Hogarth, 2005. "Cumulative dominance and heuristic performance in binary multi-attribute choice," Economics Working Papers 895, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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    3. Jyrki Wallenius & James S. Dyer & Peter C. Fishburn & Ralph E. Steuer & Stanley Zionts & Kalyanmoy Deb, 2008. "Multiple Criteria Decision Making, Multiattribute Utility Theory: Recent Accomplishments and What Lies Ahead," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(7), pages 1336-1349, July.
    4. Andreas Ortmann & Leonidas Spiliopoulos, 2017. "The beauty of simplicity? (Simple) heuristics and the opportunities yet to be realized," Chapters,in: Handbook of Behavioural Economics and Smart Decision-Making, chapter 7, pages 119-136 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Apesteguia, Jose & Ballester, Miguel A., 2013. "Choice by sequential procedures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 90-99.
    6. Berg, Nathan, 2014. "Success from satisficing and imitation: Entrepreneurs' location choice and implications of heuristics for local economic development," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(8), pages 1700-1709.
    7. Durbach, Ian N., 2009. "The use of the SMAA acceptability index in descriptive decision analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 196(3), pages 1229-1237, August.
    8. Katsikopoulos, Konstantinos V., 2016. "On the role of psychological heuristics in operational research; and a demonstration in military stability operationsAuthor-Name: Keller, Niklas," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 249(3), pages 1063-1073.
    9. Berg, Nathan & Biele, Guido & Gigerenzer, Gerd, 2010. "Does consistency predict accuracy of beliefs?: Economists surveyed about PSA," MPRA Paper 26590, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Hauser, John R., 2014. "Consideration-set heuristics," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(8), pages 1688-1699.
    11. Pantelis P. Analytis & Amit Kothiyal & Konstantinos Katsikopoulos, 2014. "Multi-attribute utility models as cognitive search engines," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 9(5), pages 403-419, September.
    12. Beccacece, F. & Borgonovo, E., 2011. "Functional ANOVA, ultramodularity and monotonicity: Applications in multiattribute utility theory," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 210(2), pages 326-335, April.

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