IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Characterizing Behavioral Decisions with Choice Data

  • Ghosal, Sayantan

    (University of Warwick)

  • Dalton, Patricio

    (Tilberg University)

This paper provides an axiomatic characterization of choices in a setting where a decision-maker may not fully internalize all the consequences of her choices on herself. Such a departure from rationality, it turns out, is common across a variety of positive behavioral models and admits the standard rational choice model as a special case. We show that choice data satisfying (a) Sen’s axioms and fully characterize behavioral decisions, and (b) Sen’s axiom and fully characterize standard decision-making. In addition, we show that (a) it is possible to identify a minimal and a maximal set of psychological states using choice data alone, and (b) under specific choice scenarios, "revealed mistakes" can be inferred directly from choice data.

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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 107.

in new window

Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:107
Contact details of provider: Postal: CV4 7AL COVENTRY
Phone: +44 (0) 2476 523202
Fax: +44 (0) 2476 523032
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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.:

as in new window
  1. Beshears, John & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2008. "How are preferences revealed?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1787-1794, August.
  2. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  3. Jonathan Shalev, 2000. "Loss aversion equilibrium," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 269-287.
  4. Hammond, Peter J., 1976. "Endogenous tastes and stable long-run choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 329-340, October.
  5. Jose Apesteguia and Miguel Angel Ballester, 2010. "A Measure of Rationality and Welfare," Working Papers 467, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  7. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0407001, EconWPA.
  8. Attila Ambrus & Kareen Rozen, 2008. "Rationalizing Choice with Multi-Self Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1670, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised May 2012.
  9. Dalton, Patricio; Ghosal, Sayantan, 2010. "Behavioural Decisions and Welfare," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 06, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  10. Sen, Amartya K, 1971. "Choice Functions and Revealed Preference," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(115), pages 307-17, July.
  11. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869, August.
  12. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1997. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," Working Papers 97-37, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  13. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2012. "Categorize Then Choose: Boundedly Rational Choice And Welfare," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1141-1165, October.
  14. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2005. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," NBER Working Papers 11755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Ozbay, 2009. "Revealed Attention," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 814577000000000409,
  16. Carrillo, Juan D & Mariotti, Thomas, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 529-44, July.
  17. Shafer, Wayne & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1975. "Equilibrium in abstract economies without ordered preferences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 345-348, December.
  18. Aviad Heifetz & Enrico Minelli, 2006. "Aspiration Traps," Working Papers ubs0610, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.
  19. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "Optimal Sin Taxes," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000346, UCLA Department of Economics.
  20. von Weizsacker, Carl Christian, 1971. "Notes on endogenous change of tastes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 345-372, December.
  21. Kahneman, Daniel & Wakker, Peter P & Sarin, Rakesh, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-405, May.
  22. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2009. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 51-104, February.
  23. Botond Kőszegi, 2010. "Utility from anticipation and personal equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 415-444, September.
  24. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  25. Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-19, June.
  26. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  27. 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.
  28. Peleg, Bezalel & Yaari, Menahem E, 1973. "On the Existence of a Consistent Course of Action when Tastes are Changing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 391-401, July.
  29. Loewenstein, George & Ubel, Peter A., 2008. "Hedonic adaptation and the role of decision and experience utility in public policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1795-1810, August.
  30. Mandler, Michael, 2005. "Incomplete preferences and rational intransitivity of choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 255-277, February.
  31. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
  32. Dalton, Patricio S; Ghosal, Sayantan; Mani, Anandi, 2010. "Poverty and Aspirations Failure," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 22, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  33. Bergstrom, Theodore C., 1975. "Maximal elements of acyclic relations on compact sets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 403-404, June.
  34. Richard J. Herrnstein & Drazen Prelec, 1991. "Melioration: A Theory of Distributed Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 137-156, Summer.
  35. Ghosal, Sayantan, 2011. "Complementarity with complete but P-acyclic preferences," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 120-122, September.
  36. Masatlioglu, Yusufcan & Ok, Efe A., 2005. "Rational choice with status quo bias," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-29, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:107. 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: (Jane Snape)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.