Micro Seminar

Raúl Lopez

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


Seminar 3 – 14:30


In preference reversals, subjects express different orderings of two options depending on how preferences are elicited. Several explanations have been offered for this phenomenon. A potentially key factor that has been unattended by these theories, however, is whether people are aware that their choices express a contradicting ordering. We propose that people want to act in a transitive, coherent manner, meaning that they want their choices across time not to contradict each other. Yet they may be sometimes unaware of their previous choices and how they logically constrain their actual ones (if they want to act in a coherent manner). We also make a number of hypotheses on the factors affecting awareness, stressing the role of perception and recall by association. Based on these simple ideas, we present a number of implications in the realm of preference reversals, finding a sufficient condition for reversals not to occur. We also propose an experimental design to test some of them.

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