IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/inm/ormnsc/v62y2016i8p2163-2178.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Asymmetric Effects of Favorable and Unfavorable Information on Decision Making Under Ambiguity

Author

Listed:
  • Alexander Peysakhovich

    () (Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138)

  • Uma R. Karmarkar

    () (Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts 02163)

Abstract

Most daily decisions involve uncertainty about outcome probabilities arising from incomplete knowledge, i.e., ambiguity. We explore how the addition of partial information affects these types of choices using theoretical and empirical methods. Our experiments in both gain and loss domains demonstrate that when such information supports a favorable outcome, it strongly increases valuation of an ambiguous financial prospect. However, when information supports an unfavorable outcome, it has significantly less impact. We find that two mechanisms drive this asymmetry. First, unfavorable information decreases estimates of a good outcome occurring but also reduces aversive uncertainty. These factors act in opposition, minimizing the effects of unfavorable information. Second, when information can be subjectively interpreted, unfavorable information is less likely to be integrated into evaluations. Our findings reveal mechanisms not captured by traditional models of decision making under uncertainty and highlight the importance of increasing the salience of unfavorable information in uncertain contexts to promote unbiased decision making.Data, as supplemental material, are available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2015.2233 . This paper was accepted by Teck-Hua Ho, behavioral economics .

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Peysakhovich & Uma R. Karmarkar, 2016. "Asymmetric Effects of Favorable and Unfavorable Information on Decision Making Under Ambiguity," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(8), pages 2163-2178, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:62:y:2016:i:8:p:2163-2178
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2015.2233
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2010. "Ambiguity and Asset Markets," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 315-346, December.
    2. Hela Maafi, 2011. "Preference Reversals Under Ambiguity," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(11), pages 2054-2066, November.
    3. Segal, Uzi, 1987. "The Ellsberg Paradox and Risk Aversion: An Anticipated Utility Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 175-202, February.
    4. Jain, Shailendra Pratap & Maheswaran, Durairaj, 2000. " Motivated Reasoning: A Depth-of-Processing Perspective," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 358-371, March.
    5. Massimo Guidolin & Francesca Rinaldi, 2013. "Ambiguity in asset pricing and portfolio choice: a review of the literature," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 183-217, February.
    6. 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.
    7. Rakesh K. Sarin & Martin Weber, 1993. "Effects of Ambiguity in Market Experiments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(5), pages 602-615, May.
    8. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    9. Camerer, Colin & Weber, Martin, 1992. "Recent Developments in Modeling Preferences: Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 325-370, October.
    10. Daniel Ellsberg, 1961. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Savage Axioms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 643-669.
    11. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2005. "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1849-1892, November.
    12. Benjamin Bushong & Lindsay M. King & Colin F. Camerer & Antonio Rangel, 2010. "Pavlovian Processes in Consumer Choice: The Physical Presence of a Good Increases Willingness-to-Pay," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1556-1571, September.
    13. Yoram Halevy, 2007. "Ellsberg Revisited: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 503-536, March.
    14. Stefan T. Trautmann & Ferdinand M. Vieider & Peter P. Wakker, 2011. "Preference Reversals for Ambiguity Aversion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(7), pages 1320-1333, July.
    15. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2014. "Expected Uncertain Utility Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(1), pages 1-39, January.
    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:62:y:2016:i:8:p:2163-2178. 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: (Matthew Walls). 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.