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An experimental analysis of bounded rationality: Applying insights from behavioral economics to information systems

Author

Listed:
  • Franziska Brecht
  • Oliver Günther
  • Werner Güth

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group)

  • Ksenia Koroleva

Abstract

The paradigm of bounded rationality considers the limited ability of individuals to make consistent and rational choices. Due to the scarcity of research on this phenomenon in information systems, we conducted an experimental study investigating decision-making regarding risk preferences and social preferences. Moreover, we explored the stability of these preferences under different conditions and uncovered the role of information retrieval in individual decision-making. We find that although individuals are generally risk-averse and egoistic, none of these preferences is stable under the conditions tested which provides indices of boundedly rational decision-making. Although the information retrieved by participants generally allows to infer their preferences, the increasing amount and complexity of this information again often results in boundedly rational behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Franziska Brecht & Oliver Günther & Werner Güth & Ksenia Koroleva, 2011. "An experimental analysis of bounded rationality: Applying insights from behavioral economics to information systems," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-065, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2011-065
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
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    4. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matteo Ploner, 2008. "On The Social Dimension Of Time And Risk Preferences: An Experimental Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 261-272, April.
    5. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
    6. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bounded rationality; experimental design; information retrieval; stability of attitudes and behavior; cognitive tracing; behavioral economics; behavioral information systems;

    JEL classification:

    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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