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Modelling Noise and Imprecision in Individual Decisions

Author

Listed:
  • Graham Loomes

    () (University of Warwick)

  • José Luis Pinto-Prades

    () (Department of Economics,Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

  • Jose Maria Abellan-Perpinan

    () (U. de Murcia)

  • Eva Rodriguez-Miguez

    () (U. de Vigo)

Abstract

When individuals take part in decision experiments, their answers are typically subject to some degree of noise / error / imprecision. There are different ways of modelling this stochastic element in the data, and the interpretation of the data can be altered radically, depending on the assumptions made about the stochastic specification. This paper presents the results of an experiment which gathered data of a kind that has until now been in short supply. These data strongly suggest that the 'usual' (Fechnerian) assumptions about errors are inappropriate for individual decision experiments. Moreover, they provide striking evidence that core preferences display systematic departures from transitivity which cannot be attributed to any 'error' story.

Suggested Citation

  • Graham Loomes & José Luis Pinto-Prades & Jose Maria Abellan-Perpinan & Eva Rodriguez-Miguez, 2010. "Modelling Noise and Imprecision in Individual Decisions," Working Papers 10.03, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:10.03
    as

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    File URL: http://www.upo.es/serv/bib/wps/econ1003.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2010
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Loomes, Graham & Moffatt, Peter G & Sugden, Robert, 2002. "A Microeconometric Test of Alternative Stochastic Theories of Risky Choice," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 103-130, March.
    2. Seidl, Christian, 2002. " Preference Reversal," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 621-655, December.
    3. Nicholas Bardsley & Robin Cubitt & Graham Loomes & Peter Moffatt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2009. "Experimental Economics: Rethinking the Rules," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9074.
    4. David Buschena & David Zilberman, 2008. "Generalized expected utility, heteroscedastic error, and path dependence in risky choice," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 201-201, April.
    5. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
    6. Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2007. "Stochastic expected utility theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 259-286, June.
    7. Graham Loomes, 2005. "Modelling the Stochastic Component of Behaviour in Experiments: Some Issues for the Interpretation of Data," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 8(4), pages 301-323, December.
    8. Ballinger, T Parker & Wilcox, Nathaniel T, 1997. "Decisions, Error and Heterogeneity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1090-1105, July.
    9. David J. Butler & Graham C. Loomes, 2007. "Imprecision as an Account of the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 277-297, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Error Imprecision Preferences Transitivity;

    JEL classification:

    • C44 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Operations Research; Statistical Decision Theory
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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