Risk preferences in surrogate decision making

Abstract

There is growing evidence that decisions made on behalf of other people differ from the decisions we make for ourselves because we are less affected by the subjective experience of their outcome. As a result, the decisions we make for other people can be more optimal. This experiment investigated surrogate decision making using a probability discounting task where participants made choices between risky and sure options. Psychological distance between the decision maker and the recipient was manipulated by having participants make decisions for themselves, their friend, and another unknown participant. Risk preferences were closer to neutrality (i.e., more consistent with expected value) when making decisions on behalf of another participant than when making decisions for themselves or a friend. We conclude that subjective risk preferences are attenuated in surrogate decision making. Findings are discussed in relation to inconsistencies in the literature and theories of surrogate decision making.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1027/1618-3169/a000371
Divisions: Life & Health Sciences
Additional Information: © 2017 Hogrefe Publishing. Distributed as a Hogrefe OpenMind article under the license [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)]
Uncontrolled Keywords: Decision making,Probability discounting,Risk preferences,Surrogate decisions,Experimental and Cognitive Psychology,Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous),Psychology(all)
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://econten ... 18-3169/a000371 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2017-09-18
Accepted Date: 2017-03-22
Authors: Batteux, Eleonore
Ferguson, Eamonn
Tunney, Richard J. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4673-757X)

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