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An Axiomatization of Cumulative Prospect Theory


  • Wakker, Peter
  • Tversky, Amos


This paper presents a method for axiomatizing a variety of models for decision making under uncertainty, including Expected Utility and Cumulative Prospect Theory. This method identifies, for each model, the situations that permit consistent inferences about the ordering of value differences. Examples of rank-dependent and sign-dependent preference patterns are used to motivate the models and the "tradeoff consistency" axioms that characterize them. The major properties of the value function in Cumulative Prospect Theory--diminishing sensitivity and loss aversion--are contrasted with the principle of diminishing marginal utility that is commonly assumed in Expected Utility. Copyright 1993 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Wakker, Peter & Tversky, Amos, 1993. "An Axiomatization of Cumulative Prospect Theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 147-175, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:7:y:1993:i:2:p:147-75

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ananda Ganguly & John Kagel & Donald Moser, 2000. "Do Asset Market Prices Reflect Traders' Judgment Biases?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 219-245, May.
    2. Zizzo, Daniel John & Stolarz-Fantino, Stephanie & Wen, Julie & Fantino, Edmund, 2000. "A violation of the monotonicity axiom: experimental evidence on the conjunction fallacy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 263-276, March.
    3. David M. Grether, 1980. "Bayes Rule as a Descriptive Model: The Representativeness Heuristic," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 537-557.
    4. Martin G. Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2005. "The Decision Maker Matters: Individual Versus Group Behaviour in Experimental Beauty-Contest Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 200-223, January.
    5. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
    6. Grether, David M., 1992. "Testing bayes rule and the representativeness heuristic: Some experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 31-57, January.
    7. Gary Charness & Dan Levin, 2005. "When Optimal Choices Feel Wrong: A Laboratory Study of Bayesian Updating, Complexity, and Affect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1300-1309, September.
    8. Ouwersloot, Hans & Nijkamp, Peter & Rietveld, Piet, 1998. "Errors in probability updating behaviour : Measurement and impact analysis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 535-563, October.
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