Framing in the field. A simple experiment on the reflection effect
This study makes use of an unusual opportunity to manipulate framing of a simple decision under uncertainty: whether or not to answer an exam question when unsure which answer is correct and a missing response is scored higher than an incorrect one. Two treatments were compared in a natural field experiment: one in which the decision was framed in terms of losses, and the other – in terms of gains. Some alternative theories of decision making under risk, notably prospect theory, propose that individuals display reflection effect, i.e. tend to be more risk-seeking in losses than gains. No such evidence was found: subjects were generally risk-averse and this disposition was not affected by treatment.
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