Can Personality Type Explain Heterogeneity in Probability Distortions?
Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, Vol 6(3), September 2013, 151-166
Posted: 22 Feb 2015
Date Written: September 1, 2013
There are two regularities we have learned from experimental studies of choice under risk. The first is that the majority of people weigh objective probabilities nonlinearly. The second regularity, although less commonly acknowledged, is that there is a large amount of heterogeneity in how people distort probabilities. Despite this, little effort has been made to identify the source of heterogeneity. We explore the possibility that personality type is linked to probability distortions. Using validated psychological questionnaires, we clustered participants into distinct personality types: motivated, impulsive, and affective. We found that the motivated participants viewed gambling as more attractive, whereas the impulsive participants were the most capable of discriminating non-extreme probabilities. Our results suggest that the observed heterogeneity in probability distortions may be explained by personality profiles, which can be elicited though standard psychological questionnaires.
Keywords: Choice under risk, personality, experiments, probability weighting function
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