SJDM Annual Conference 2009
November 21-23, 2009
Society for Judgement and Decision Making (SJDM) Annual Conference
A large delegation from CRED participated at this year’s conference. Click on the titles below for abstracts:
Kirstin Appelt & E. Tory Higgins
Is emphasizing losses (vs. gains) better in negotiations with multiple issues? (Poster)
Lay Perceptions of Energy Consumption (Poster)
Min Gong, Jonathan Baron, & Howard Kunreuther
Why and When does Uncertainty Reduce Inter-group Competition and Encourage inter-group Cooperation (Presentation)
David Hardisty & Kirstin Appelt
I want it now!: Why discount rates for losses show reverse frame and reverse magnitude effects (Presentation)
Time Horizons in Interdependent Security (Poster)
Kerry Milch, Elke Weber, & E. Tory Higgins
Investing In and For Oneself: The Meaning of Feeling Close to One’s Future Self and Other Determinants of Intertemporal Resource Allocation (Presentation)
Querying the Group Mind: Applying Query Theory to Group Discussions (Poster)
The Long View: measuring discount rates at large delays and across domains (Poster)
Liersch, Michael J (NYU); Rottenstreich, Yuval (NYU); Kunreuther, Howard (Penn); Gong, Min (Penn)
The Endowment Effect Under Uncertainty (Presentation)
Michel Handgraaf & Margriet van Lidth de Jeude (University of Amsterdam)
Private Payment versus Public Praise: Effects of reward type on energy conservation (Presentation)
Rather than manipulating a situation to be a loss or a gain, we assign participants to roles and measure how they spontaneously frame the situation. In single-issue negotiations, role determines frame. In price negotiations, buyers adopt loss frames and sellers adopt gain frames. These differences lead to strategic complementarities with regulatory focus such that prevention buyers (shared preference for vigilance) and promotion sellers (shared preference for eagerness) are in focus-role fit. Fit negotiators experience greater fit and are more demanding. When paired, fit negotiators impasse more often. Manipulating strategy confirms that shared strategic preferences are the source of focus-role fit.
Lay Perceptions of Energy Consumption
In a national online survey, 505 participants rated their perceived energy consumption for household, transportation, and recycling behaviors. When asked for the most effective thing they could do to conserve energy, most participants mentioned curtailment rather than efficiency, in contrast to experts’ recommendations. Participants underestimated energy use by a factor of 2.75, with more accurate perceptions among those with pro-environmental attitudes and higher numeracy. Participants also overestimated consumption for low-energy behaviors and underestimated consumption for high-energy behaviors. Behaviors were rated easy to implement, suggesting behavior change is possible if people learn which behaviors are effective.
Previous research has shown groups were less cooperative than individuals in a prisoner’s dilemma, but were more cooperative than individuals in a stochastic version of the game. This paper investigates why and when uncertainty reduces inter-group competition and encourages inter-group cooperation. Three mechanisms underlying group cooperation are examined. The data support the hypothesis that groups are more risk-concerned than individuals and more likely to cooperate to reduce risks. Uncertainty reducing inter-group competition is replicated in various scenarios, but the effect of uncertainty encouraging inter-group cooperation was moderated by two factors: whether mutual-cooperation removes uncertainty and whether the game is repeated.
In 4 studies, 580 US residents chose between immediate and future gains and losses. While participants discounted small gains more than large ones and discounted potential delays (default is now) more than potential accelerations (default is later), their responses for losses reversed or eliminated these classic effects. This is explained through a three-factor discounting model including uncertainty, resource slack, and present bias. Critically, present bias (wanting things now, ceteris paribus) translates into higher discounting of gains but lower discounting of losses. Participants’ thought listings confirmed the mediating role of present bias and revealed qualitatively different processes for evaluating future losses.
Many real-world social dilemmas require interdependent players to protect against a large loss that has a low annual probability of occurring. Examples include protecting against terrorism (shared border security), protecting against disease outbreak (think of bird flu), or climate change. Decisions on whether to invest in protection may be made year by year, or investment may be precommitted for a number of years. Normally, when an outcome is delayed, the subjective uncertainty goes up. However, we hypothesized and found that with recurring low probability events, increasing the time horizon would increase the subjective probability and thus (paradoxically) increase investment rates.
What does it mean to “feel close” to one’s future self? How does closeness interact with other factors that affect divisions of resources between now and later? We show that closeness to future self can be manipulated and is distinct from attitude toward future self (liking/disliking). Closeness, not attitude, influences intertemporal resource allocation. Additionally, pro-spend vs. pro-save framing is shown to interact with closeness to future self. We explore individuals’ theories about stability in self-concept over time and examine which elements of closeness to future self (similarity, empathy, responsibility) matter for how people divide resources between present and future.
Query Theory assumes decision makers construct preferences by consulting memory for thoughts about choice alternatives. Using accelerate vs. delay discounting scenarios, we extended this explanation to the “group mind”. Discounting in delay was (positively) predicted by the number of “now” thoughts, while discounting in acceleration was (negatively) predicted by the number of “later” thoughts. Thoughts for the default option predicted choice, even though thought frequency did not differ between conditions, pointing to an attentional effect. For individual decisions, “now” and “later” thoughts clustered in different orders for the two conditions, a result (not surprisingly) not found for the group discussions.
235 US residents answered hypothetical questions about monetary (money now vs. money later) and environmental (money now vs. improved air quality later) gains at short (1-year) and long (10-, 50-year) delays. A novel, adaptive method of measuring temporal discount rates was tested against two common methods, matching and titration. The adaptive method, multiple-staircase, uses principles of psychometric measurement techniques to zero in on indifference points. This method yielded lower variance in discount rates for long monetary timescales and all environmental timescales. It also caused participants less confusion and, most importantly, better predicted consequential intertemporal choices in another task.
In standard endowment effect experiments, participants cannot lose their holdings. However, endowment is often uncertain. For example, post-Madoff, investors worry their investments will disappear. We examine how uncertainty impacts reluctance to trade by extending standard experiments: after trades are completed, there is a 50% chance that participants will lose their holdings. We find that uncertainty exacerbates the reluctance to trade. Evidently people are even more averse to trade when they cannot count on maintaining their holdings. This finding suggests that attachment does not underlie reluctance to trade. One should presumably be less attached to items that are only tentatively held.
Financial rewards may have negative side-effects. These may be absent if more socially relevant rewards are used. We did a field experiment in which we used monetary vs. non-material and private vs. public rewards to stimulate energy saving. We measured energy consumption for a total of 13 weeks. As expected, public rewards worked better than private ones and non-material rewards worked better than monetary rewards. Differences persisted for 8 weeks after we stopped our manipulations. These are important results: they add to theorizing about the effectiveness of rewards and show that focusing on privately earned monetary rewards may be counterproductive.