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sixes_and_sevens comments on Prospect Theory: A Framework for Understanding Cognitive Biases - Less Wrong

66 Post author: Yvain 10 July 2011 05:20AM

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Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 09 July 2011 01:01:20PM *  2 points [-]

I'd upvote this twice if I could.

The weighted probability curve reminded me of some other research I first heard of a couple of years ago, to do with human choices being made by comparing them to their neighbouring choices, rather than on an absolute scale of utility. The result of this being that people find it hard to appraise things on more than five levels of gradation ("worse", "this", "better", and intervals between them). This provides a plausible explanation for why we rank so many things out of five.

I looked for the research in question, and found Decision by Sampling. Having now had a look at the actual paper, it actually references prospect theory twice. I really should follow these things up more.

Comment author: Alexei 09 July 2011 08:26:40PM 1 point [-]

I think the simpler explanation for why we rank things out of five, is because 5 is half of 10.

Comment author: Will_Sawin 09 July 2011 09:05:57PM 0 points [-]

I've seen some psych research using 7 options - does anyone know if there's a reason for that? Do they know what they're doing more than the people who rank things using 5?