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Attentional shifts and preference reversals: an eye-tracking study


Alos-Ferrer, Carlos; Jaudas, Alexander; Ritschel, Alexander (2021). Attentional shifts and preference reversals: an eye-tracking study. Judgment and Decision Making, 16(1):57-93.

Abstract

The classic preference reversal phenomenon, where monetary evaluations contradict risky choices, has been argued to arise due to a focus on outcomes during theevaluation of alternatives, leading to overpricing of long-shot options. Such an explanation makes the implicit assumption that attentional shifts drive the phenomenon.We conducted an eye-tracking study to causally test this hypothesis by comparing atreatment based on cardinal, monetary evaluations with a different treatment avoidinga monetary frame. We find a significant treatment effect in the form of a shift inattention toward outcomes (relative to probabilities) when evaluations are monetary. Our evidence suggests that attentional shifts resulting from the monetary frame ofevaluations are a driver of preference reversals.

Abstract

The classic preference reversal phenomenon, where monetary evaluations contradict risky choices, has been argued to arise due to a focus on outcomes during theevaluation of alternatives, leading to overpricing of long-shot options. Such an explanation makes the implicit assumption that attentional shifts drive the phenomenon.We conducted an eye-tracking study to causally test this hypothesis by comparing atreatment based on cardinal, monetary evaluations with a different treatment avoidinga monetary frame. We find a significant treatment effect in the form of a shift inattention toward outcomes (relative to probabilities) when evaluations are monetary. Our evidence suggests that attentional shifts resulting from the monetary frame ofevaluations are a driver of preference reversals.

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3 citations in Web of Science®
2 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Decision Sciences
Social Sciences & Humanities > Applied Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Economics and Econometrics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Preference reversals, ranking, compatibility hypothesis, eye-tracking
Language:English
Date:January 2021
Deposited On:02 Feb 2021 16:44
Last Modified:24 Aug 2021 19:32
Publisher:Society for Judgment and Decision Making
ISSN:1930-2975
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://journal.sjdm.org/20/201007a/jdm201007a.pdf
Related URLs:http://journal.sjdm.org/vol16.1.html (Research Data)

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