Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 197-215

First online:

Disappointment without prior expectation: a unifying perspective on decision under risk

  • Philippe DelquiéAffiliated withINSEAD, Decision Sciences Area, Boulevard de Constance Email author 
  • , Alessandra CilloAffiliated withINSEAD, Decision Sciences Area, Boulevard de Constance

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The central idea of Disappointment theory is that an individual forms an expectation about a risky alternative, and may experience disappointment if the outcome eventually obtained falls short of the expectation. We abandon the hypothesis of a well-defined prior expectation: disappointment feelings may arise from comparing the outcome received with anyof the gamble’s outcomes that the individual failed to get. This leads to a new, general form of Disappointment model. It encompasses Rank Dependent Utility with an explicit one-parameter probability transformation, and Risk-Value models with a generic risk measure including Variance, providing a unifying behavioral foundation for these models.


Disappointment theory Rank Dependent utility Risk-value models Mean-variance Expected Utility violations