Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Decision Making, Affect, and LearningAttention and Performance XXIII$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mauricio R. Delgado, Elizabeth A. Phelps, and Trevor W. Robbins

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199600434

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600434.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2021

Do intransitive choices reflect genuinely context-dependent preferences?

Do intransitive choices reflect genuinely context-dependent preferences?

(p.101) Chapter 5 Do intransitive choices reflect genuinely context-dependent preferences?
Decision Making, Affect, and Learning

Tobias Kalenscher

Cyriel M.A. Pennartz

Oxford University Press

A multitude of theories on decision making suppose that individuals choose between different prospects by placing a value, or utility, on these prospects and selecting whichever prospect has the highest value. If decisions were at all times value-based, then choices should always be transitive. Transitivity holds that, if prospect A is preferred over prospect B, and B is preferred over C, A should also be preferred over C. Despite its intuitive appeal, individuals often show striking violations of transitivity. Intransitive decisions could be the consequence of asymmetrically distributed errors made during the implementation of transitively organized values because individuals may be more likely to erroneously choose against their true preference when the discrimination between the prospects' values is difficult compared to situations where the prospect with the highest value is clearly and easily detectable. Alternatively, intransitive choices may reflect genuinely context-dependent preferences because individuals may compare the options' multiple attributes separately, not in an integrated fashion. This chapter replicates intransitive choices in a risky decision-making task, and presents a novel analysis that argues against the noisy implementation of transitive value account. It argues that choices reflect truly intransitive and context-dependent preferences, and discusses several possible explanations why individuals make decisions in such a way.

Keywords:   decision making, transitivity, intransitive choice, transitive value, context-dependent preferences

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .