Preference reversal: Explanations, evidence and implications


During the past twenty years, the preference reversal phenomenon has excited much interest among decision theorists. Is it an expression of genuinely nontransitive preferences? Is it largely due to the different cognitive procedures individuals may use for valuations as opposed to choices? Or does it arise from failures of the independence axiom and/or the reduction principle interacting with certain features of many experimental designs? This paper considers these possible explanations, reviews a range of recent evidence and presents some new results.

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Loomes, G. Preference reversal: Explanations, evidence and implications. Ann Oper Res 23, 65–90 (1990).

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  • Decision Theorist
  • Preference Reversal
  • Reversal Phenomenon
  • Independence Axiom
  • Reduction Principle