Preferences, Prices, and Ratings in Risky Decision Making

Barbara A. Mellers, Shi jie Chang, Michael H. Birnbaum, Lisa D. Ordóñez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Systematically different preference orders are obtained when different procedures are used to elicit preferences for gambles. Three new experiments found different preference orders with attractiveness ratings, risk ratings, buying prices, selling prices, avoidance prices, and strength-of-preference judgments. Preference reversals persisted even when Ss were given financial incentives to motivate them to rank the gambles identically. Results were consistent with a change-of-process theory in which Ss are assumed to use different strategies in different tasks with the same scales. Attractiveness and risk ratings could be described by an additive combination of probability and amount, and prices could be predicted by a multiplicative combination of the same scales. Strength-of-preference judgments were consistent with a contrast-weighting model in which the weight of a dimension (either probability or amount) depends on the contrast between the 2 gambles along that dimension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-361
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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