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


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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    • "The idea has also been explored by Tversky and Kahneman (1992) in their prospect theory where the importance of positive and negative aspects is measured separately. However, qualitative approaches (Bitsch 2000; Bonnefon et al. 2008) seem more appropriate to comply with information, time and the cognitive constraints of operational decision-making. "
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    • "The use of IF-sets provides for a more flexible representation, notably for taking into account pro and con arguments while determining the preferences which is a widely adopted approach (cf., e.g., [7], [8]). We will omit the superscript IF in R IF m , for brevity. "
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