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Taking the Broad Perspective: Risky Choices in Repeated Proficiency Tasks

Author

Listed:
  • Amos Schurr
  • Yaakov Kareev
  • Judith Avrahami
  • Ilana Ritov

Abstract

In performing skill-based tasks individuals often face a choice between easier, less demanding alternatives, but ones whose expected payoffs in case of success are lower, and difficult, more demanding alternatives whose expected payoffs in case of success are higher: What piece to play in a musical competition, whether to operate a camera in a manual or automatic mode, etc. We maintain that the decision-maker’s perspective – whether narrow or broad – is one determinant of choice, and subsequent satisfaction, in such tasks. In two experiments involving dart throwing and answering general-knowledge trivia questions, perspective was manipulated through choice procedure: A sequential choice procedure, with task difficulty chosen one at a time, was used to induce a narrow perspective while an aggregate-choice procedure was used to induce a broad perspective. In two additional experiments, both involving a sequential-choice procedure perspective was manipulated through priming. As predicted, in all experiments inducement of a narrow perspective resulted in a higher probability of choosing the more difficult task; it also led to lower-than-anticipated overall satisfaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Amos Schurr & Yaakov Kareev & Judith Avrahami & Ilana Ritov, 2012. "Taking the Broad Perspective: Risky Choices in Repeated Proficiency Tasks," Discussion Paper Series dp621, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp621
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    File URL: http://ratio.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/publications/dp621.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Drazen Prelec & George Loewenstein, 1991. "Decision Making Over Time and Under Uncertainty: A Common Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(7), pages 770-786, July.
    2. Dhar, Ravi, 1997. " Consumer Preference for a No-Choice Option," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 215-231, September.
    3. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151-151.
    4. Luce, Mary Frances, 1998. " Choosing to Avoid: Coping with Negatively Emotion-Laden Consumer Decisions," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 409-433, March.
    5. Hsee, Christopher K & Leclerc, France, 1998. " Will Products Look More Attractive When Presented Separately or Together?," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 175-186, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schurr, Amos & Rodensky, Dotan & Erev, Ido, 2014. "The effect of unpleasant experiences on evaluation and behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 1-9.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Perspective; joint vs. separate evaluation; skill based decisions;

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