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Patience Versus Decisiveness in Decision-Making

Author

Listed:
  • W. Bentley MacLeod

    (Columbia University)

  • Mark Pingle

    () (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)

Abstract

When rationality is bounded, a variety of factors may influence how far a choice is from optimal. We examine the willingness to search among alternatives. We find fixed individual differences in this temperament measure. People may be usefully typed according to how they obtain improved choices. More patient subjects obtain improvement by effectively using decision resources, performing better when the decision is more complex. More decisive subjects obtain improvement by conserving valuable decision resources, performing better when the decision problem is simple. We find that a bonus incentive frame encourages patience, while a penalty frame encourages decisiveness. These results suggest an organization can enhance its performance by matching individual temperaments and incentive frames to decision tasks at hand.

Suggested Citation

  • W. Bentley MacLeod & Mark Pingle, 2007. "Patience Versus Decisiveness in Decision-Making," Working Papers 07-004, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics;University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:unr:wpaper:07-004
    as

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    File URL: http://www.business.unr.edu/econ/wp/papers/UNRECONWP07004.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2007
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366 Elsevier.
    2. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    3. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
    4. MacLeod, W. Bentley & Pingle, Mark, 2005. "Aspiration uncertainty: its impact on decision performance and process," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 617-629, April.
    5. Cecilia Chaing & Lindsay McSweeney, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
    6. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    7. Conlisk, John, 1988. "Optimization cost," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 213-228, April.
    8. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst, 2003. "Why labour market experiments?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-406, August.
    9. MacLeod W. Bentley, 2002. "Complexity, Bounded Rationality and Heuristic Search," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-52, September.
    10. Harrison, Glenn W & Morgan, Peter, 1990. "Search Intensity in Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 478-486, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    framing; deliberation cost; bounded rationality; heuristics; incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • 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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