Contingent Weighting in Judgment and Choice.
STANFORD UNIV CA
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Preference can be inferred from direct choice between options or from a matching procedure in which the decision maker adjusts one option to match another. Studies of perferences between two-dimensional options e.g., public policies, job applicants, benefit plans show that the more prominent dimension looms larger in choice than in matching. Thus, choice is more lexicographic than matching. This finding is viewed as an instance of a general principle of compatibility the weighting of input is enhanced by their compatibility with the output. To account for such effects, we develop a hierarchy of models in which the tradeoff between attributes is contingent on the nature of the response. The simplest theory of this type, called the contingent weighting model, is applied to the analysis of various compatibility effects, including the choice-matching discrepancy and the preference-reversal phenomenon. These results raise both conceptual and practical questions concerning the nature, the meaning and the assessment of preference.
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