Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 139–170

Preference Reversals and Induced Risk Preferences: Evidence for Noisy Maximization

  • Joyce E. Berg
  • John W. Dickhaut
  • Thomas A. Rietz

DOI: 10.1023/A:1025633008075

Cite this article as:
Berg, J.E., Dickhaut, J.W. & Rietz, T.A. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty (2003) 27: 139. doi:10.1023/A:1025633008075


We combine two research lines: preference reversal research (Lichtenstein and Slovic, 1971) and research on lottery-based risk preference induction (Roth and Malouf, 1979). Our results are informative for both research lines. We show that inducing risk preferences in preference reversal experiments has dramatic effects. First, while our subjects still display reversals, they do not display the usual pattern of “predicted” reversals suggested by the compatibility hypothesis. By inducing risk averse and risk loving preferences, we can dramatically reduce reversal rates and even produce the opposite pattern of reversals. Our results are consistent with the assumption that subjects maximize expected utility with error. This provides evidence that Camerer and Hogarth's (1999) framework for incentive effects can be extended to include the risk preference induction reward scheme.

preference reversal risk preference induction incentives expected utility theory 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joyce E. Berg
    • 1
  • John W. Dickhaut
    • 2
  • Thomas A. Rietz
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Accounting, Henry B. Tippie College of BusinessUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Accounting, Carlson School of ManagementUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Finance, Henry B. Tippie College of BusinessUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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