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On the Conjunction Fallacy in Probability Judgment: New Experimental Evidence Regarding Linda

  • Edi Karni

This paper reports the results of a series of experiments designed to test whether and to what extent individuals succumb to the conjunction fallacy. Using an experimental design of Kahneman and Tversky (1983), it finds that given mild incentives, the proportion of individuals who violate the conjunction principle is significantly lower than that reported by Kahneman and Tversky. Moreover, when subjects are allowed to consult with other subjects, these proportions fall dramatically, particularly when the size of the group rises from two to three. These findings cast serious doubts about the importance and robustness of such violations for the understanding of real-life economic decisions.

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Paper provided by The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number 552.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:552
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  1. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  2. Charness, Gary B & Karni, Edi, 2007. "Individual and Group Decision Making Under Risk: An Experimental Study of Bayesian Updating and Violations of First-order Stochastic Dominance," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt4gr7j8z8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  3. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-57, March.
  4. John List, 2003. "Does market experience eliminate market anomalies?," Natural Field Experiments 00297, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. Matthias Sutter, 2008. "Individual behavior and group membership: Comment," Working Papers 2008-23, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  6. Matthias Sutter, 2004. "Are four heads better than two? An experimental beauty-contest game with teams of different size," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-15, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  7. 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.
  8. Charness, Gary B & Levin, Dan & Karni, Edi, 2008. "On the Conjunction Fallacy in Probability Judgment: New Experimental Evidence," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt2dn4t727, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  9. Dan Ariely & Uri Gneezy & George Loewenstein & Nina Mazar, 2009. "Large Stakes and Big Mistakes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 451-469.
  10. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
  11. Irving Lorge & Herbert Solomon, 1955. "Two models of group behavior in the solution of eureka-type problems," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 139-148, June.
  12. Gerd Gigerenzer, 1997. "Bounded Rationality: Models of Fast and Frugal Inference," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 133(II), pages 201-218, June.
  13. 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.
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