Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 291–310

A further exploration of the uncertainty effect


DOI: 10.1007/s11166-013-9180-x

Cite this article as:
Wang, Y., Feng, T. & Keller, L.R. J Risk Uncertain (2013) 47: 291. doi:10.1007/s11166-013-9180-x


Individual valuation of a binary lottery at values less than the lottery’s worst outcome has been designated as the “uncertainty effect”. Our paper aims to explore the boundary conditions of the uncertainty effect by investigating a plausible underlying process and proposing two possible methods. First, we examine how providing an exogenous evaluation opportunity prior to judging the value of the lottery affects individuals’ judgments, and find that first valuing the worst outcome and then the lottery eliminates the uncertainty effect. Second, we explore whether introducing additional cognitive load dampens how far decision makers correct their initial evaluations, and find that additional cognitive load is able to eliminate the uncertainty effect.


Boundary conditionsUncertainty effectDecision under uncertainty

JEL Classification


Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UTS Business SchoolUniversity of Technology, SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of ManagementFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.The Paul Merage School of BusinessUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA