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Ambiguity seeking as a result of the status quo bias

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Several factors affect attitudes toward ambiguity. What happens, however, when people are asked to exchange an ambiguous alternative in their possession for an unambiguous one? We present three experiments in which individuals preferred to retain the former. This status quo bias emerged both within- and between-subjects, with and without incentives, with different outcome distributions, and with endowments determined by both the experimenter and the participants themselves. Findings emphasize the need to account for the frames of reference under which evaluations of probabilistic information take place as well as modifications that should be incorporated into descriptive models of decision making.

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  • Mercè Roca & Robin Hogarth & A. John Maule, 2005. "Ambiguity seeking as a result of the status quo bias," Economics Working Papers 882, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:882
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    Cited by:

    1. Santiago I. Sautua, 2016. "Risk, Ambiguity, And Diversification," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 014588, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:136:y:2017:i:c:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bracha, Anat & Brown, Donald J., 2012. "Affective decision making: A theory of optimism bias," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 67-80.
    4. Stefan T. Trautmann & Ferdinand M. Vieider & Peter P. Wakker, 2011. "Preference Reversals for Ambiguity Aversion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(7), pages 1320-1333, July.
    5. Santiago I. Sautua, 2016. "Does Uncertainty Cause Inertia In Decision Making? An Experimental Study Of The Role Of Regret Aversion And Indecisiveness," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 014587, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    6. Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter & Medhin, Haileselassie & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2009. "Attitudes toward Uncertainty among the Poor: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," IZA Discussion Papers 4225, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Ortoleva, Pietro, 2010. "Status quo bias, multiple priors and uncertainty aversion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 411-424, July.
    8. Anat Bracha & Donald J Brown, 2007. "Affective Decision Making: a Behavioral Theory of Choice," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001676, UCLA Department of Economics.
    9. Trautmann, Stefan T. & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2011. "Pricing risk and ambiguity: The effect of perspective taking," Kiel Working Papers 1727, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    10. Roca, Mercè & Maule, A. John, 2009. "The effects of endowment on the demand for probabilistic information," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 56-66, May.
    11. Pech, Wesley & Milan, Marcelo, 2009. "Behavioral economics and the economics of Keynes," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 891-902, December.
    12. Maltz, Amnon, "undated". "Rational Choice with Category Bias," Working Papers WP2015/4, University of Haifa, Department of Economics, revised 18 Nov 2015.
    13. Daniele Pennesi, 2013. "Endogenous Status Quo," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 314, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    14. Aurélien Baillon & Laure Cabantous & Peter Wakker, 2012. "Aggregating imprecise or conflicting beliefs: An experimental investigation using modern ambiguity theories," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 115-147, April.
    15. Mihm, Maximilian, 2016. "Reference dependent ambiguity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 495-524.
    16. L. Robin Keller & Rakesh K. Sarin & Jayavel Sounderpandian, 2007. "An examination of ambiguity aversion: Are two heads better than one?," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 2, pages 390-397, December.
    17. Alpaslan Akay & Peter Martinsson & Haileselassie Medhin & Stefan Trautmann, 2012. "Attitudes toward uncertainty among the poor: an experiment in rural Ethiopia," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 453-464, September.
    18. Arthur Snow, 2010. "Ambiguity and the value of information," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 133-145, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ambiguity; risk; status quo bias; decision making; uncertainty; Leex;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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