Aspirations as reference points: an experimental investigation of risk behavior over time. (English) Zbl 1271.91038

Summary: This paper examines the importance of aspirations as reference points in a multi-period decision-making context. After stating their personal aspiration level, 172 individuals made six sequential decisions among risky prospects as part of a choice experiment. The results show that individuals make different risky choices in a multi-period compared to a single-period setting. In particular, individuals’ aspiration level is their main reference point during the early stages of decision making, while their starting status (wealth level at the start of the experiment) becomes the central reference point during the later stages of their multi-period decision making.


91B06 Decision theory


Full Text: DOI


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