Advanced

Differences Attract: An Experimental Study of Focusing in Economic Choice

Andersson, Ola LU ; Ingebretsen Carlson, Jim LU and Wengström, Erik LU (2016) In Working Papers
Abstract
Several recent models of choice build on the idea that decision makers are more likely to choose an option if its attributes stand out compared to the attributes of the available alternatives. One example is the model of focusing by Köszegi and Szeidl (2013) where decision makers focus disproportionally on the attributes in which the available options differ more, implying that some attributes will be overweighted. We test this prediction in a controlled experiment. We find that subjects are more likely to make inconsistent choices when we manipulate the choice set by adding new options that are unchosen, but affect the maximal difference in attributes among the options. Hence, our results suggest that there exists a focusing effect.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Individual decision making, focus, attention, salience, decoy, experiments, C91 , D03, D12
in
Working Papers
issue
2016:15
pages
69 pages
publisher
Department of Economics, Lund Universtiy
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5530b60c-02e2-482c-a7b3-cdf8c3eb8742
alternative location
http://swopec.hhs.se/lunewp/abs/lunewp2016_015.htm
date added to LUP
2016-08-09 12:18:22
date last changed
2016-08-09 12:55:05
@misc{5530b60c-02e2-482c-a7b3-cdf8c3eb8742,
  abstract     = {Several recent models of choice build on the idea that decision makers are more likely to choose an option if its attributes stand out compared to the attributes of the available alternatives. One example is the model of focusing by Köszegi and Szeidl (2013) where decision makers focus disproportionally on the attributes in which the available options differ more, implying that some attributes will be overweighted. We test this prediction in a controlled experiment. We find that subjects are more likely to make inconsistent choices when we manipulate the choice set by adding new options that are unchosen, but affect the maximal difference in attributes among the options. Hence, our results suggest that there exists a focusing effect.},
  author       = {Andersson, Ola and Ingebretsen Carlson, Jim and Wengström, Erik},
  keyword      = {Individual decision making,focus,attention,salience,decoy, experiments,C91 , D03,D12},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {2016:15},
  pages        = {69},
  publisher    = {Department of Economics, Lund Universtiy},
  series       = {Working Papers},
  title        = {Differences Attract: An Experimental Study of Focusing in Economic Choice},
  year         = {2016},
}