## Path Dependency in the Discounting of Delayed and Probabilistic Gains and Losses

### Wojciech Białaszek , Przemysław Marcowski

#### Abstract

Human decision making often involves outcomes that are both risky and delayed. In such delayed lottery scenarios, the question of how such prospects are evaluated arises. An individual can arrive at their choice by following three different subjective value elicitation paths: (1) a direct path by considering the delay and risk of an outcome simultaneously; (2) a delay-probability path by first considering the delay and then the risk of an outcome; and (3) a probability-delay path by first considering the probability and then the delay of an outcome. Using a discounting framework, we conducted an experiment to investigate whether individual choices are path dependent, i.e., if the three paths elicit different subjective values of risky and delayed gains or losses. The experiment included an arbitrary selection of delays and individual probability estimates corresponding to each delay, obtained in an additional delay-probability trade-off task. Such approach ensured the equal individual decision factor strength of each outcome delay and probability. Our findings demonstrate that the human choice of risky and delayed gains or losses is indeed path dependent, which contrasts with the normative view. Furthermore, we present evidence that human choice more closely follows the delay-probability elicitation path than the probability-delay path in the domain of gainsAuthor | |||||||||

Journal series | Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, (N/A 100 pkt) | ||||||||

Issue year | 2019 | ||||||||

Vol | 9 | ||||||||

No | 8738 | ||||||||

Pages | 1-9 | ||||||||

Publication size in sheets | 0.5 | ||||||||

ASJC Classification | |||||||||

Abstract in original language | Human decision making often involves outcomes that are both risky and delayed. In such delayed lottery scenarios, the question of how such prospects are evaluated arises. An individual can arrive at their choice by following three different subjective value elicitation paths: (1) a direct path by considering the delay and risk of an outcome simultaneously; (2) a delay-probability path by first considering the delay and then the risk of an outcome; and (3) a probability-delay path by first considering the probability and then the delay of an outcome. Using a discounting framework, we conducted an experiment to investigate whether individual choices are path dependent, i.e., if the three paths elicit different subjective values of risky and delayed gains or losses. The experiment included an arbitrary selection of delays and individual probability estimates corresponding to each delay, obtained in an additional delay-probability trade-off task. Such approach ensured the equal individual decision factor strength of each outcome delay and probability. Our findings demonstrate that the human choice of risky and delayed gains or losses is indeed path dependent, which contrasts with the normative view. Furthermore, we present evidence that human choice more closely follows the delay-probability elicitation path than the probability-delay path in the domain of gains | ||||||||

DOI | DOI:10.1038/s41598-019-45376-9 | ||||||||

URL | https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-45376-9 | ||||||||

Language | en angielski | ||||||||

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Additional file |
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Score (nominal) | 100 | ||||||||

Score source | journalList | ||||||||

Publication indicators | : 2016 = 1.401; : 2017 = 4.122 (2) - 2017=4.609 (5) | ||||||||

Citation count* |

* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.

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