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Take-the-best and other simple strategies: Why and when they work 'well' in binary choice

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Abstract

The effectiveness of decision rules depends on characteristics of both rules and environments. A theoretical analysis of environments specifies the relative predictive accuracies of the lexicographic rule 'take-the-best' (TTB) and other simple strategies for binary choice. We identify three factors: how the environment weights variables; characteristics of choice sets; and error. For cases involving from three to five binary cues, TTB is effective across many environments. However, hybrids of equal weights (EW) and TTB models are more effective as environments become more compensatory. In the presence of error, TTB and similar models do not predict much better than a naïve model that exploits dominance. We emphasize psychological implications and the need for more complete theories of the environment that include the role of error.

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  • Robin Hogarth & Natalia Karelaia, 2003. "Take-the-best and other simple strategies: Why and when they work 'well' in binary choice," Economics Working Papers 709, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:709
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    Cited by:

    1. Berg, Nathan & Biele, Guido & Gigerenzer, Gerd, 2010. "Does consistency predict accuracy of beliefs?: Economists surveyed about PSA," MPRA Paper 26590, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Robin Hogarth & Natalia Karelaia, 2004. "Ignoring information in binary choice with continuous variables: When is less 'more'?," Economics Working Papers 742, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2004.
    3. Clintin Davis-Stober, 2011. "A Geometric Analysis of When Fixed Weighting Schemes Will Outperform Ordinary Least Squares," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 76(4), pages 650-669, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Decision making; bounded rationality; lexicographic rules; Leex;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General

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