Measurement-induced focusing and the magnitude of loss aversion: The difference between comparing gains to losses and losses to gains
Research has identified loss aversion as a strong and robust phenomenon, but has also revealed some moderators affecting the magnitude of its effect on decision making. In the current article, we draw attention to the fact that even the measurement of loss aversion itself may affect its magnitude by inducing a focus on either losses or gains. In three studies, we provide empirical evidence for such a measurement-induced focus. In all studies we used coin-toss gambles---in which there is a 50/50 chance to win or to lose---to assess gain/loss ratios as a measure of loss aversion. Participants either filled out the loss side or the gain side of this gain/loss ratio. The studies consistently showed that---using within- and between-subject designs and anticipated and real coin-toss gambles---the strength of loss aversion depended on the measurement format (fill-in-the-loss versus fill-in-the-gain); filling in the loss side increased loss aversion. Moreover, loss aversion was more affected by the stakes of the gamble in the fill-in-the-loss format than in the fill-in-the-gain format.
Volume (Year): 7 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
|Contact details of provider:|| |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Arkes, Hal R. & Blumer, Catherine, 1985. "The psychology of sunk cost," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 124-140, February.
- Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
- 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.
- Knetsch, Jack L, 1989. "The Endowment Effect and Evidence of Nonreversible Indifference Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1277-84, December.
- Schoemaker, Paul J H, 1982. "The Expected Utility Model: Its Variants, Purposes, Evidence and Limitations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 529-63, June.
- Benartzi, Shlomo & Thaler, Richard H, 1995.
"Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92, February.
- Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1993. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 4369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kliger, Doron & Levit, Boris, 2009. "Evaluation periods and asset prices: Myopic loss aversion at the financial marketplace," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 361-371, August.
- van Dijk, Eric & van Knippenberg, Daan, 1998. "Trading wine: On the endowment effect, loss aversion, and the comparability of consumer goods," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 485-495, August.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:7:y:2012:i:4:p:462-471. 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)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.