What is the actual shape of perception utility?
Cumulative Prospect Theory (Kahneman, Tversky, 1979, 1992) holds that the value function is described using a power function, and is concave for gains and convex for losses. These postulates are questioned on the basis of recently reported experiments, paradoxes (gain-loss separability violation), and brain activity research. This paper puts forward the hypothesis that perception utility is generally logarithmic in shape for both gains and losses, and only happens to be convex for losses when gains are not present in the problem context. This leads to a different evaluation of mixed prospects than is the case with Prospect Theory: losses are evaluated using a concave, rather than a convex, utility function. In this context, loss aversion appears to be nothing more than the result of applying a logarithmic utility function over the entire outcome domain. Importantly, the hypothesis enables a link to be established between perception utility and Portfo-lio Theory (Markowitz, 1952A). This is not possible in the case of the Prospect Theory value function due its shape at the origin.
|Date of creation:||20 Jun 2011|
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- Mohammed Abdellaoui & Han Bleichrodt & Olivier L’Haridon, 2008. "A tractable method to measure utility and loss aversion under prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 245-266, June.
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- Mohammed Abdellaoui & Han Bleichrodt & Corina Paraschiv, 2007.
"Loss Aversion Under Prospect Theory: A Parameter-Free Measurement,"
INFORMS, vol. 53(10), pages 1659-1674, October.
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- Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151-151.
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- George Wu & Alex B. Markle, 2008. "An Empirical Test of Gain-Loss Separability in Prospect Theory," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(7), pages 1322-1335, July.
- Drazen Prelec, 1998. "The Probability Weighting Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 497-528, May.
- Nathalie Etchart-Vincent, 2009. "The shape of the utility function under risk in the loss domain and the "ruinous losses" hypothesis: some experimental results," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 1393-1402.
- Nathalie Etchart-Vincent, 2009. "The shape of the utility function under risk in the loss domain and the 'ruinous losses' hypothesis: some experimental results," Post-Print hal-00395871, HAL.
- John W. Payne & Dan J. Laughhunn & Roy Crum, 1980. "Translation of Gambles and Aspiration Level Effects in Risky Choice Behavior," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(10), pages 1039-1060, October. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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