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Probabilistic Sophistication and Reverse Bayesianism


  • Edi Karni

    () (Johns Hopkins University)

  • Marie-Louise Vierø

    () (Queen's University)


This paper extends our earlier work on reverse Bayesianism by relaxing the assumption that decision makers abide by expected utility theory, assuming instead weaker axioms that merely imply that they are probabilistically sophisticated. We show that our main results, namely, (modified) representation theorems and corresponding rules for updating beliefs over expanding state spaces and null events that constitute "reverse Bayesianism," remain valid.

Suggested Citation

  • Edi Karni & Marie-Louise Vierø, 2013. "Probabilistic Sophistication and Reverse Bayesianism," Working Papers 1303, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1303

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Machina Mark J. & Schmeidler David, 1995. "Bayes without Bernoulli: Simple Conditions for Probabilistically Sophisticated Choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 106-128, October.
    2. Grant, Simon & Polak, Ben, 2006. "Bayesian beliefs with stochastic monotonicity: An extension of Machina and Schmeidler," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 264-282, September.
    3. Pietro Ortoleva, 2012. "Modeling the Change of Paradigm: Non-Bayesian Reactions to Unexpected News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2410-2436, October.
    4. Epstein, Larry G. & Schneider, Martin, 2003. "Recursive multiple-priors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 1-31, November.
    5. Edi Karni & Marie-Louise Vier?, 2013. ""Reverse Bayesianism": A Choice-Based Theory of Growing Awareness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2790-2810, December.
    6. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-686, May.
    7. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
    8. Machina, Mark J & Schmeidler, David, 1992. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 745-780, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pamela Giustinelli & Nicola Pavoni, 2017. "The Evolution of Awareness and Belief Ambiguity in the Process of High School Track Choice," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 93-120, April.
    2. Karni, Edi & Vierø, Marie-Louise, 2017. "Awareness of unawareness: A theory of decision making in the face of ignorance," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 301-328.

    More about this item


    Awareness; Unawareness; Reverse Bayesianism; Probabilistic sophistication;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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