IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/jdm/journl/v5y2010i2p83-101.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Decisions by coin toss: Inappropriate but fair

Author

Listed:
  • Gideon Keren
  • Karl H. Teigen

Abstract

In many situations of indeterminacy, where people agree that no decisive arguments favor one alternative to another, they are still strongly opposed to resolving the dilemma by a coin toss. The robustness of this judgment-decision discrepancy is demonstrated in several experiments, where factors like the importance of consequences, similarity of alternatives, conflicts of opinion, outcome certainty, type of randomizer, and fairness considerations are systematically explored. Coin toss is particularly inappropriate in cases of life and death, even when participants agree that the protagonists should have the same chance of being saved. Using a randomizer may seem to conflict with traditional ideas about argument-based rationality and personal responsibility of the decision maker. Moreover, a concrete randomizer like a coin appears more repulsive than the abstract principle of using a random device. Concrete randomizers may, however, be admissible to counteract potential partiality. Implications of the aversion to use randomizers, even under circumstances in which there are compelling reasons to do so, are briefly discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Gideon Keren & Karl H. Teigen, 2010. "Decisions by coin toss: Inappropriate but fair," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 5(2), pages 83-101, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:5:y:2010:i:2:p:83-101
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://journal.sjdm.org/10/10203/jdm10203.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://journal.sjdm.org/10/10203/jdm10203.html
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oberholzer-Gee, Felix & Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "Fairness and Competence in Democratic Decisions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 91(1), pages 89-105, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Grimalday, Gianluca & Karz, Anirban & Proto, Eugenio, 2012. "Everyone Wants a Chance: Initial Positions and Fairness in Ultimatum Games," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 93, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    2. Eliaz, Kfir & Rubinstein, Ariel, 2014. "On the fairness of random procedures," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 168-170.
    3. André Schmelzer, 2016. "Single versus Multiple Randomization in Matching Mechanisms," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_08, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Mar 2017.
    4. Konstantinos Georgalos & Sonali Sen Gupta & Indrajit Ray, 2017. "Coarse correlation and coordination in a game," Working Papers 151235570, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    5. Gianluca Grimalda & Anirban Kar & Eugenio Proto, 2016. "Procedural fairness in lotteries assigning initial roles in a dynamic setting," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(4), pages 819-841, December.
    6. Grimalday, Gianluca & Karz, Anirban & Proto, Eugenio, 2012. "Everyone Wants a Chance: Initial Positions and Fairness in Ultimatum Games," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 93, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

    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:jdm:journl:v:5:y:2010:i:2:p:83-101. 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: (Jonathan Baron). General contact details of provider: .

    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.