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Status-Quo and Omission Biases


  • Ritov, Ilana
  • Baron, Jonathan


Bias toward the status quo, found in choice and in emotional reactions to adverse outcomes, has been confounded with bias toward omission. The authors unconfounded these effects with scenarios in which change occurs unless action is taken. Subjects reacted more strongly to adverse outcomes caused by action, whether the status quo was maintained or not, and subjects preferred inaction over action even when inaction was associated with change. No status-quo bias was found in a matching task, which did not require action. The observed status-quo bias is at least partly caused by a bias toward omissions. Copyright 1992 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Ritov, Ilana & Baron, Jonathan, 1992. "Status-Quo and Omission Biases," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 49-61, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:5:y:1992:i:1:p:49-61

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    References listed on IDEAS

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