Testing Explanations of Preference Reversal

18 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2011

See all articles by Robin P. Cubitt

Robin P. Cubitt

University of Nottingham; University of Nottingham - Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx)

Alistair Munro

School of Economics - University of East Anglia

Chris Starmer

University of Nottingham - School of Economics

Date Written: July 2004

Abstract

We present a new experimental investigation of preference reversal. Although economists and psychologists have suggested a variety of accounts for this phenomenon, the existing data do not adequately discriminate between them. Relative to previous studies, our design offers enhanced control for economic explanations and new tests of psychological hypotheses. We find a pattern of preference reversals that is inconsistent with all of the best‐known explanations of the phenomenon proposed by economists, with the fundamental economic assumption of context‐free preferences, and with several psychological theories of preference reversal. We explore the explanatory strategies that survive exposure to our data.

Suggested Citation

Cubitt, Robin P. and Munro, Alistair and Starmer, Chris, Testing Explanations of Preference Reversal (July 2004). The Economic Journal, Vol. 114, Issue 497, pp. 709-726, 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1928426 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2004.00238.x

Robin P. Cubitt (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www/economics/staff/details/robin_cubitt.htm

University of Nottingham - Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx) ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

Alistair Munro

School of Economics - University of East Anglia ( email )

School of Economics
University of East Anglia
Norwich, NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1603 593404 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uea.ac.uk/~j048

Chris Starmer

University of Nottingham - School of Economics ( email )

University Park
Room B2, Economics & Geography Building
Nottingham NG7 2RD
United Kingdom
+44 (0)115 846 6067 (Phone)
+44 (0)115 951 4159 (Fax)

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