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Gain-Loss Separability and Coalescing in Risky Decision Making

Author

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  • Michael H. Birnbaum

    () (Decision Research Center, Department of Psychology, California State University, Fullerton, 800 North State College Boulevard, Fullerton, California 92834-6846)

  • Jeffrey P. Bahra

    () (Decision Research Center, Department of Psychology, California State University, Fullerton, 800 North State College Boulevard, Fullerton, California 92834-6846)

Abstract

This experiment tested two behavioral properties of risky decision making--gain-loss separability (GLS) and coalescing. Cumulative prospect theory (CPT) implies both properties, but the transfer of attention exchange (TAX) model violates both. Original prospect theory satisfies GLS but may or may not satisfy coalescing, depending on whether editing rules are assumed. A configural form of CPT proposed by Wu and Markle [Wu, G., A. B. Markle. 2004. An empirical test of gain-loss separability in prospect theory. Working Paper 06-25-04, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago] violates GLS, but satisfies coalescing. New tests were designed and conducted to test these theories against specific predictions of a TAX model. This model used parameters estimated from previous data, together with simple new assumptions to extend TAX to gambles with negative and mixed consequences. Contrary to all three forms of prospect theory, systematic violations of both coalescing and GLS were observed. Violations of GLS were confirmed by analyses of individual data patterns by means of an error model in which each choice can have a different rate of error. Without estimating any parameters from the new data, the TAX model predicted the majority choices in the new data fairly well, correctly predicting when modal choices would violate GLS, when they would satisfy it, and when indifference would be observed.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael H. Birnbaum & Jeffrey P. Bahra, 2007. "Gain-Loss Separability and Coalescing in Risky Decision Making," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(6), pages 1016-1028, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:53:y:2007:i:6:p:1016-1028
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1060.0592
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Han Bleichrodt & Olivier L’Haridon & Dennie Dolder, 2016. "Measuring Loss Aversion under Ambiguity: A Method to Make Prospect Theory Completely Observable," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 1-20, February.
    2. Birnbaum, Michael H. & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2010. "Allais paradoxes can be reversed by presenting choices in canonical split form," Kiel Working Papers 1615, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Kontek, Krzysztof, 2011. "What is the actual shape of perception utility?," MPRA Paper 31715, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Yun-shil Cha & Michelle Choi & Ying Guo & Michel Regenwetter & Chris Zwilling, 2013. "Reply: Birnbaum's (2012) statistical tests of independence have unknown Type-I error rates and do not replicate within participant," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(1), pages 55-73, January.
    5. Hochman, Guy & Ayal, Shahar & Ariely, Dan, 2014. "Keeping your gains close but your money closer: The prepayment effect in riskless choices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PB), pages 582-594.
    6. Ulrich Schmidt & Horst Zank, 2008. "Risk Aversion in Cumulative Prospect Theory," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(1), pages 208-216, January.
    7. Peter Brooks & Simon Peters & Horst Zank, 2014. "Risk behavior for gain, loss, and mixed prospects," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 153-182, August.
    8. Ulrich Schmidt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2008. "Third-generation prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 203-223, June.
    9. Birnbaum, Michael H. & LaCroix, Adam R., 2008. "Dimension integration: Testing models without trade-offs," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 122-133, January.
    10. Salvatore Greco & Fabio Rindone, 2014. "The bipolar Choquet integral representation," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(1), pages 1-29, June.
    11. Michael H. Birnbaum, 2013. "True-and-error models violate independence and yet they are testable," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(6), pages 717-737, November.
    12. Amélie Vrijdags, 2013. "Min- and Max-induced rankings: an experimental study," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(2), pages 233-266, August.

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