How to make loss aversion disappear and reverse : tests of the decision by sampling origin of loss aversion

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Walasek, Lukasz ; Stewart, Neil (2015)
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association
  • Journal: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General, volume 144, issue 1, pages 7-11 (issn: 0096-3445, eissn: 1939-2222)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1037/xge0000039, pmc: PMC4312134
  • Subject: prospect theory | BF | decision by sampling | loss aversion | context | Brief Reports

One of the most robust empirical findings in the behavioral sciences is loss aversion—the finding that losses loom larger than gains. We offer a new psychological explanation of the origins of loss aversion in which loss aversion emerges from differences in the distribution of gains and losses people experience. In 4 experiments, we tested this proposition by manipulating the range of gains and losses that individuals saw during the process of eliciting their loss aversion. We were able to find loss aversion, loss neutrality, and even the reverse of loss aversion.
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