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Empirical Tests of Intransitivity Predicted by Models of Risky Choice

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  • Birnbaum, Michael H.
  • Schmidt, Ulrich

Abstract

Recently proposed models of risky choice imply systematic violations of transitivity of preference. Five studies explored whether people show patterns of intransitivity predicted by four descriptive models. To distinguish ?true? violations from those produced by ?error,? a model was fit in which each choice can have a different error rate and each person can have a different pattern of true preferences that need not be transitive. Error rate for a choice is estimated from preference reversals between repeated presentations of the same choice. Results of five studies showed that very few people repeated intransitive patterns. We can retain the hypothesis that transitivity best describes the data of the vast majority of participants.

Suggested Citation

  • Birnbaum, Michael H. & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2006. "Empirical Tests of Intransitivity Predicted by Models of Risky Choice," Economics Working Papers 2006-10, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cauewp:5101
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    decision making; errors; gambling effect; reference points; regret; transitivity;

    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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