A model of decision making in an ecologically realistic environment: Relative comparison and the Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives
Models of behavior in a variety of areas often assume that decision-makers will adhere to the axioms of economic rationality. This requires that outcomes can be assigned objective values by stable evaluation frameworks. Yet both human and animal behavior is often not economically rational. Instead relative comparison of options is often used to assess value. We are interested in conditions that might lead natural selection to favor relative comparison of options over behavior that is consistent with the axioms of rationality. We compare an economically rational strategy with a relative comparison strategy (trade-off contrast). We model these strategies in a simple environment where decisions are multi-period; there is stochastic fluctuation in the choices available at any given time; and uncertainty about what choices will be available in the future. We investigate five levels of interaction between the attributes of the options that range from perfect complementarity to perfect substitutability. Our results show that, for some of the parameter space, a non-rational strategy achieved higher fitness than an economically rational strategy and that these differences were large enough to be biologically significant. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
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.:
- 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.
- Amos Tversky & Itamar Simonson, 1993. "Context-Dependent Preferences," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(10), pages 1179-1189, October.
- 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.
- Robson, Arthur J., 1996. "A Biological Basis for Expected and Non-expected Utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 397-424, February.
- Cosmides, Leda & Tooby, John, 1994. "Better than Rational: Evolutionary Psychology and the Invisible Hand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 327-32, May.
- Smith, Vernon L., 2002.
"Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics,"
Nobel Prize in Economics documents
2002-7, Nobel Prize Committee.
- Vernon L. Smith, 2003. "Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 465-508, June.
- Konstantinos Katsikopoulos & Gerd Gigerenzer, 2008. "One-reason decision-making: Modeling violations of expected utility theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 35-56, August.
- Arthur J. Robson, 2001. "The Biological Basis of Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(1), pages 11-33, March.
- 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.
- M. Keith Chen & Venkat Lakshminarayanan & Laurie R. Santos, 2006. "How Basic Are Behavioral Biases? Evidence from Capuchin Monkey Trading Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 517-537, June.
- Arthur J. Robson, 2002. "Evolution and Human Nature," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 89-106, Spring.
- Waldman, Michael, 1994. "Systematic Errors and the Theory of Natural Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 482-97, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:14:y:2012:i:3:p:197-215. 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: (Sonal Shukla)or (Christopher F. Baum)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.