IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jrisku/v49y2014i2p167-188.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The role of forgone opportunities in decision making under risk

Author

Listed:
  • Ivan Barreda-Tarrazona
  • Ainhoa Jaramillo-Gutierrez
  • Daniel Navarro-Martinez
  • Gerardo Sabater-Grande

Abstract

We present two experiments designed to study the role of forgone opportunities in decision making under risk. In the first one, we face individuals with a dynamic environment in which their decisions, together with chance, determine their future options. We find that previously faced opportunities influence subsequent choices in predictable ways. Having faced worse options in the past significantly increases individuals’ risk aversion and having faced better options reduces it. These patterns are at odds with most existing decision theories, including Expected Utility Theory and standard implementations of Prospect Theory, the dominant models of economic decision making. In our second experiment, we present participants with a similar decision environment, but in which the opportunities they face do not depend on their past choices. The effect of previously faced options on decision behavior in this environment is considerably reduced. This shows that being responsible for forgoing opportunities is an important factor in their influence on behavior, which underscores the relevance of emotions linked to counterfactual thinking, like regret or satisfaction. These results highlight that theories formulated in cognitive terms are not enough to provide an adequate account of the role of forgone opportunities in decision making under risk and uncertainty. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Ivan Barreda-Tarrazona & Ainhoa Jaramillo-Gutierrez & Daniel Navarro-Martinez & Gerardo Sabater-Grande, 2014. "The role of forgone opportunities in decision making under risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 167-188, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:49:y:2014:i:2:p:167-188
    DOI: 10.1007/s11166-014-9201-4
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11166-014-9201-4
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s11166-014-9201-4?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Zeelenberg, Marcel & van Dijk, Wilco W. & Manstead, Antony S. R., 2000. "Regret and Responsibility Resolved? Evaluating Ordonez and Connolly's (2000) Conclusions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 143-154, January.
    2. Cubitt, Robin P & Sugden, Robert, 2001. "Dynamic Decision-Making under Uncertainty: An Experimental Investigation of Choices between Accumulator Gambles," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 103-128, March.
    3. Thierry Post & Martijn J. van den Assem & Guido Baltussen & Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Deal or No Deal? Decision Making under Risk in a Large-Payoff Game Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 38-71, March.
    4. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    5. 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.
    6. Tsiros, Michael & Mittal, Vikas, 2000. "Regret: A Model of Its Antecedents and Consequences in Consumer Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 401-417, March.
    7. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-824, December.
    8. Zeelenberg, M. & Pieters, R., 2004. "Beyond valence in customer dissatisfaction : A review and new findings on behavioral responses to regret and disappointment in failed services," Other publications TiSEM 7bfb4aa9-cba7-4786-850d-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    9. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
    10. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    11. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    12. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    13. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2007. "Reference-Dependent Risk Attitudes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1047-1073, September.
    14. Manel Baucells & Martin Weber & Frank Welfens, 2011. "Reference-Point Formation and Updating," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(3), pages 506-519, March.
    15. Cubitt, Robin P & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1998. "Dynamic Choice and the Common Ratio Effect: An Experimental Investigation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1362-1380, September.
    16. Graham Loomes & Robert Sugden, 1986. "Disappointment and Dynamic Consistency in Choice under Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(2), pages 271-282.
    17. Zeelenberg, Marcel & Pieters, Rik, 2004. "Beyond valence in customer dissatisfaction: A review and new findings on behavioral responses to regret and disappointment in failed services," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 445-455, 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. Sylvestre Frezal & Laurence Barry, 2020. "Fairness in Uncertainty: Some Limits and Misinterpretations of Actuarial Fairness," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 167(1), pages 127-136, November.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ronald Bosman & Frans Van Winden, 2010. "Global Risk, Investment and Emotions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(307), pages 451-471, July.
    2. Müller, Stephan & Rau, Holger A., 2019. "Decisions under uncertainty in social contexts," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 73-95.
    3. Enrico G. De Giorgi & Thierry Post, 2011. "Loss Aversion with a State-Dependent Reference Point," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(6), pages 1094-1110, June.
    4. Lee, K.M.C. & Kraussl, R.G.W. & Paas, L.J., 2009. "The effect of anticipated and experienced regret and pride on investors' future selling decisions," Serie Research Memoranda 0057, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    5. Andersen, Steffen & Harrison, Glenn W. & Lau, Morten Igel & Rutström, Elisabet E., 2010. "Behavioral econometrics for psychologists," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 553-576, August.
    6. Astrid Hopfensitz & Frans Winden, 2008. "Dynamic Choice, Independence and Emotions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 64(2), pages 249-300, March.
    7. Aurélien Baillon & Han Bleichrodt & Vitalie Spinu, 2020. "Searching for the Reference Point," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(1), pages 93-112, January.
    8. Lieder, Falk & Griffiths, Tom & Hsu, Ming, 2016. "Over-representation of extreme events in decision-making reflects rational use of cognitive resources," OSF Preprints kxxag, Center for Open Science.
    9. Marchegiani, Lucia & Reggiani, Tommaso & Rizzolli, Matteo, 2016. "Loss averse agents and lenient supervisors in performance appraisal," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 183-197.
    10. Alex Markle & George Wu & Rebecca White & Aaron Sackett, 2018. "Goals as reference points in marathon running: A novel test of reference dependence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 19-50, February.
    11. van Winden, Frans & Krawczyk, Michal & Hopfensitz, Astrid, 2011. "Investment, resolution of risk, and the role of affect," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 918-939.
    12. Herweg, Fabian & Müller, Daniel, 2021. "A comparison of regret theory and salience theory for decisions under risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    13. Hong Chao & Chun-Yu Ho & Xiangdong Qin, 2017. "Risk taking after absolute and relative wealth changes: The role of reference point adaptation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 157-186, April.
    14. Sautua, Santiago I., 2017. "Does uncertainty cause inertia in decision making? An experimental study of the role of regret aversion and indecisiveness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 1-14.
    15. Damgaard, Mette T. & Sydnor, Justin, 2019. "Applying for jobs in the lab: The effect of risk attitudes and reference points," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 165-179.
    16. Heiman, Amir & Just, David R. & McWilliams, Bruce P. & Zilberman, David, 2015. "A prospect theory approach to assessing changes in parameters of insurance contracts with an application to money-back guarantees," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 105-117.
    17. Adriaan R. Soetevent & Liting Zhou, 2016. "Loss Modification Incentives for Insurers Under Expected Utility and Loss Aversion," De Economist, Springer, vol. 164(1), pages 41-67, March.
    18. repec:luc:wpaper:13-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Brettschneider, Julia & Burro, Giovanni & Henderson, Vicky, 2021. "Wide framing disposition effect: An empirical study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 330-347.
    20. Andersen, Steffen & Harrison, Glenn W. & Lau, Morten Igel & Rutström, Elisabet E., 2014. "Dual criteria decisions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 101-113.
      • Andersen, Steffen & Harrison, Glenn W. & Lau, Morten Igel & Rutström, Elisabet, 2009. "Dual Criteria Decisions," Working Papers 02-2009, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    21. Thomas Epper & Helga Fehr-Duda & Adrian Bruhin, 2011. "Viewing the future through a warped lens: Why uncertainty generates hyperbolic discounting," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 169-203, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Decision making under risk; Path-dependence; Reference-dependence; Counterfactual thinking; Emotions; C91; D03; D81;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:kap:jrisku:v:49:y:2014:i:2:p:167-188. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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.