Gender differences when subjective probabilities affect risky decisions: an analysis from the television game show Cash Cab

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Abstract

This study uses the television show Cash Cab as a natural experiment to investigate gender differences in decision making under uncertainty. As expected, men are much more likely to accept the end-of-game gamble than are women, but men and women appear to weigh performance variables differently when relying on subjective probabilities. At best men base their risky decisions on general aspects of their previous “good” play (not all of which is relevant at the time the decision is made) and at worst fail to condition their risky decisions on any of the relevant information available to them. In sharp contrast, women appear to consider all of the information available to them, including previous “poor” play as well as their most recent confident “good” play, which, by design, is likely the most relevant information to consider.