The “vanishing” of the disjunction effect by sensible procrastination

Mind and Society 6 (1):41-52 (2007)

Abstract

The disjunction effect (Tversky and Shafir in Psychol Sci 3:305–309, 1992) occurs when decision makers prefer option x (versus y) when knowing that event A occurs and also when knowing that event A does not occur, but they refuse x (or prefer y) when not knowing whether or not A occurs. This form of incoherence violates Savage’s (Cognition 57:31–95, 1954) sure-thing principle, one of the basic axioms of the rational theory of decision-making. The phenomenon was attributed to a lack of clear reasons for accepting an option (x) when the subjects are under uncertainty. Through a pragmatic analysis of the task and a consequent reformulation of it, we show that the effect does not depend on the presence of uncertainty, but on the introduction into the text-problem of a non-relevant goal

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