Inducing preference reversals by manipulating revealed preferences

AbstractIt is currently difficult to test the validity of existing explanations for the emergence of context-dependent preference reversals. This is because these explanations are generally placed at the level of the process of evidence accumulation, and across experimental paradigms, this process is unobservable. In this paper, we propose a new experimental paradigm for eliciting preference reversals, wherein the process of evidence accumulation is significantly observable. Over a series of experiments, we successfully induce preference reversals for arbitrary stimuli by showing participants sequences of stimuli comparisons with pre-determined outcomes. Our findings partially support the view that context-sensitive assimilation of a history of ordinal comparisons is sufficient to explain classic context effects.

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