Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 145–154 | Cite as

Dual process theories: A key for understanding the diversification bias?

  • Christoph Kogler
  • Anton KühbergerEmail author


The diversification bias in repeated lotteries is the finding that a majority of participants fail to select the option offering the highest probability. This phenomenon is systematic and immune to classical manipulations (e.g. monetary rewards). We apply dual process theories and argue that the diversification bias is a consequence of System 1 (automatic, intuitive, associative) triggering a matching response, which fails to be corrected by System 2 (intentional, analytic, rational). Empirically, supporting the corrective functions of System 2 through appropriate contextual cues (describing the task as a statistical test rather than as a lottery) led to a decrease of diversification.


Dual process theories Diversification Probability matching Statistical independence 

JEL Classification

D83 D81 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SalzburgSalzburgAustria

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