The description-experience gap in risky choice framing

Vallee-Tourangeau, Gaelle, Vallee-Tourangeau, Frederic and Ramasubramanian, Madhuri (2016) The description-experience gap in risky choice framing. In: 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (COGSCI 2016): Recognizing and Representing Events; 10-13 Aug 2016, Philadelphia, U.S.. ISBN 9780991196739


We examined whether the classical framing effect observed with the Asian Disease problem could be reversed when people make decisions from experience. Ninety-five university students were randomly allocated to one of three conditions: Description, Sampling (where the participants were allowed to sample through the outcomes presented as a pack of cards) and Interactive (where the participants were invited to spread out all possible outcomes in a sample) and made three gain-framed choices and three loss-framed choices, with two filler tasks after the first three choices. The results revealed a significant interaction effect between framing and choice condition. In the Description choice condition, participants were more risk-seeking with loss-framed problems. This pattern was reversed in the Sampling choice condition where participants were more risk-seeking with gain frames. Finally, the Interactive choice condition resulted in a classic pattern of framing effect, whereby people were more risk averse in the domain of gains.

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