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On preference imprecision

Cubitt, Robin P.; Navarro-Martinez, Daniel; Starmer, Chris


Professor of Economics & Decision Research

Daniel Navarro-Martinez

Professor of Experimental Economics


Recent research invokes preference imprecision to explain violations of individual decision theory. While these inquiries are suggestive, the nature and significance of such imprecision remain poorly understood. We explore three questions using a new measurement tool in an experimental investigation of imprecision in lottery valuations: Does such preference imprecision vary coherently with lottery structure? Is it stable on repeat measurement? Does it have explanatory value for economic behaviour? We find that imprecision behaves coherently, shows no tendency to change systematically with experience, is related to choice variability, but is not a main driver of the violations of standard decision theory that we consider.


Cubitt, R. P., Navarro-Martinez, D., & Starmer, C. (2015). On preference imprecision. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 50(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 20, 2015
Deposit Date Sep 4, 2015
Publicly Available Date Sep 8, 2015
Journal Journal of Risk and Uncertainty
Print ISSN 0895-5646
Electronic ISSN 0895-5646
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Issue 1
Keywords Preference imprecision, imprecision intervals, noisy preferences, violations of expected utility theory, construct validity
Public URL
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art%3A10.1007%2Fs11166-015-9207-6.pdf (1.3 Mb)

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