Qualitative Heuristics For Balancing the Pros and Cons

Theory and Decision (Impact Factor: 0.48). 02/2008; 65(1):71-95. DOI: 10.1007/s11238-007-9050-6
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT Balancing the pros and cons of two options is undoubtedly a very appealing decision procedure, but one that has received scarce
scientific attention so far, either formally or empirically. We describe a formal framework for pros and cons decisions, where
the arguments under consideration can be of varying importance, but whose importance cannot be precisely quantified. We then
define eight heuristics for balancing these pros and cons, and compare the predictions of these to the choices made by 62
human participants on a selection of 33 situations. The Levelwise Tallying heuristic clearly emerges as a winner in this competition.
Further refinements of this heuristic are considered in the discussion, as well as its relation to Take the Best and Cumulative
Prospect Theory.

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Hélène Fargier