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Manipulating reliance on intuition reduces risk and ambiguity aversion

  • Butler, Jeffrey V.
  • Guiso, Luigi
  • Jappelli, Tullio

Prior research suggests that those who rely on intuition rather than effortful reasoning when making decisions are less averse to risk and ambiguity. The evidence is largely correlational, however, leaving open the question of the direction of causality. In this paper, we present experimental evidence of causation running from reliance on intuition to risk and ambiguity preferences. We directly manipulate participants' predilection to rely on intuition and find that enhancing reliance on intuition lowers the probability of being ambiguity averse by 30 percentage points and increases risk tolerance by about 30 percent in the experimental sub-population where we would a priori expect the manipulation to be successful (males).

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Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2013/13.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:201313
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  1. Jeffrey Butler & Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2014. "The role of intuition and reasoning in driving aversion to risk and ambiguity," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 455-484, December.
  2. Michel Tuan Pham & Leonard Lee & Andrew T. Stephen, 2012. "Feeling the Future: The Emotional Oracle Effect," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(3), pages 461 - 477.
  3. Charles R. Plott & Kathryn Zeiler, 2005. "The Willingness to Pay–Willingness to Accept Gap, the "Endowment Effect," Subject Misconceptions, and Experimental Procedures for Eliciting Valuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 530-545, June.
  4. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
  5. Leonard Lee & On Amir & Dan Ariely, 2009. "In Search of Homo Economicus: Cognitive Noise and the Role of Emotion in Preference Consistency," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 173 - 187.
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