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A shocking experiment: New evidence on probability weighting and common ratio violations

  • Gregory S. Berns
  • C. Monica Capra
  • Sara Moore
  • Charles Noussair

We study whether probability weighting is observed when individuals are presented with a series of choices between lotteries consisting of real non-monetary adverse outcomes, electric shocks. Our estimation of the parameters of the probability weighting function proposed by Tversky and Kahneman (1992) are similar to those obtained in previous studies of lottery choice for negative monetary payoffs and negative hypothetical payoffs. In addition, common ratio violations in choice behavior are widespread. Our results provide evidence that probability weighting is a general phenomenon, independent of the source of disutility.

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Article provided by Society for Judgment and Decision Making in its journal Judgment and Decision Making.

Volume (Year): 2 (2007)
Issue (Month): (August)
Pages: 234-242

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Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:2:y:2007:i::p:234-242
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  1. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
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  8. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
  9. Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2000. "Parameter-Free Elicitation of Utility and Probability Weighting Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1497-1512, November.
  10. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  11. Charles Mason & Jason Shogren & Chad Settle & John List, 2005. "Investigating Risky Choices Over Losses Using Experimental Data," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 187-215, September.
  12. Drazen Prelec, 1998. "The Probability Weighting Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 497-528, May.
  13. Loomes, Graham, 1991. " Evidence of a New Violation of the Independence Axiom," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 91-108, January.
  14. Coursey, Don L & Hovis, John L & Schulze, William D, 1987. "The Disparity between Willingness to Accept and Willingness to Pay Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 679-90, August.
  15. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-89, November.
  16. George Wu & Richard Gonzalez, 1996. "Curvature of the Probability Weighting Function," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(12), pages 1676-1690, December.
  17. Nicolas de Roos & Yianis Sarafidis, 2010. "Decision making under risk in Deal or No Deal," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(6), pages 987-1027.
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