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CMU - Soc 120 - Reason Passion & Cognition, Exam 3 Study Guide - Study

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CMU - Soc 120 - Reason Passion & Cognition, Exam 3 Study Guide - Study

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background image LECTURE 15: Preference Construction Optimal Choices - It’s easier to demonstrates visual biases as opposed to biases  in choice - To show bias in choice, we need to show  inconsistency in  choices Economic vs. Psychological Models of Preference - Types of preferences o Inherent preferences (part of economic model): Essential preferences We enjoy pleasure (e.g. ice cream) We don’t like pain (e.g. mosquito bite) o Remembered Preferences (part of economic model): We have preferences we learn & recall from 
memory (e.g. being a Patriots fan since childhood)
o Constructed preferences (part of psychological  model): But we also make up preferences as we go along - Economic Model o Optimal decision maker:  Preferences applied when necessary  Choice reveals inherent & learned preferences (e.g.
there’s a barbecue and you choose hamburger over
hotdogs, so you prefer hamburgers)
Choice does not create preference  - Psychological Model o When we encounter choice, internal factors interact with  choice Internal factors include attitudes, feelings, biases, 
Preferences are constructed on the spot o When are preferences constructed? When decision elements are unfamiliar (e.g. menu 
in a different language)
When choices have conflict/tradeoff (e.g. choosing 
an apartment, options have pros and cons, going 
back and forth, not stable preference)
When preferences are complex o Preference construction Look for inconsistencies in choices If inconsistencies can be rationalized, 
preferences can be stable
If inconsistencies are arbitrary, preferences 
background image are constructed Preference Reversals Elicitation Mode (What is exactly being asked?) o Ex. Fifteen-minute poetry reading  Accept money group: Would you attend recital for $2? (59%) Would you attend recital for free? (8%) Pay money group: Would you pay $2 to attend the recital? (3%) Would you anted recital for free? (35%) Shows that preferences were arbitrary Coherent arbitrariness  Ex. Another poetry reading Accept money group: o Would you accept $10 to go to 10 min  recitation? o How much would you accept to listen  to 1,3, and 6 min recitations? Pay money group: o Would you pay $10 to go to 10 min  recitation? o How much would you pay to listen to  1,3, and 6 min recitations? Initial valuations are arbitrary, depends on 
Subsequent valuations based off of initial 
- Evaluation Mode o Joint evaluation  Evaluate multiple options simultaneously o Separate evaluation Evaluation of single options o Joint vs. separate evaluation Ex1. Dispute w/ seller on value of land that extends
onto you and another neighbor’s property line
Case 1: Seller offers to pay you $600 and 
your neighbor $800 (you are not okay w/ it)
Case 2: Seller offers to pay both you and your
neighbor $500 (you are okay w/ it)
Case 3: Seller offers either to pay you $600 
and neighbor $800 or to pay you both $500 
(you would want the former option even 
background image though you disliked it in the separate 
What matters in this problem? o Value - how much money you receive 
o Equality – how much you receive 
compared to your neighbor Joint evaluation allows you to judge the 
more important factor (in this case, 
money value) more easily
- Irrelevant Alternatives o Violates the Regularity Condition, which states that  “market share” of option can’t be increased by additional
options (can only be decreased or unchanged)
Compromise Effect – introducing new options can make an existing option look better in comparison New comparison changes perception of gains vs. 
Loss aversion – dislike big losses The compromise is therefore the middle option Ex. Cheap vs. expensive coffee maker: When an 
even more expensive coffee maker is introduced, 
some people who originally chose the cheapest 
coffee maker will want to buy the middle choice. 
We can attribute this to loss aversion: choosing the 
middle option will prevent great losses in either 
price or quality
Dominated Alternatives – present an alternative that  is worse in all aspects New option is “dominated” by the better option Dominated option serves as decoy Decoy effect  Ex. Would you rather date, Tom or Jerry? o Case 1: Tom, Jerry, or Ugly Jerry (people are more likely to choose Jerry) o Case 2: Tom, Ugly Tom, or Jerry (people  are more likely to choose Tom) Factors in Construction - Propinquity Effect  o Proximity helps determine interpersonal attraction 
o The people you see & interact with by chance are those 
that are more likely to become your friends & lovers - Mere exposure o The greater exposure we have to a stimulus, the greater  our tendency to like it, even if exposure is subconscious
background image o Ex. Polygon preference, two sets A and B of random  polygons Exposure phase Subject saw a polygon from either set A or 
set B 5 times for 1 millisecond each time
Comparison phase Compared polygons from set A and set B 
(also flashed for 1 millisecond)
When asked what polygon they liked better, 
subjects tended to say polygons they saw before, 
without knowing it.
o Advertisers use it, political campaigns use it, etc. b/c it  has a powerful effect - Expectation Bottom-up processes (body to brain) Reflects stimulus influencing perceiver’s sensory 
Top-down processes (brain to body) Reflects perceiver’s beliefs, desires, & expectations o Ex1. Coke vs. Pepsi, when some people drank coke  labeled Pepsi and some people drank coke labeled coke, 
those that drank the one labeled coke tended to give a 
higher liking rating 
o Ex2. Regular Beer vs. MIT brew Group 1 (blind): sample beers, indicate preference Group 2 (before): given info, sample beers, indicate
Group 3 (after): sample beers, given info, indicate 
Results: “blind” and “after” subjects had similar 
preferences, which suggests that expectation 
affected the experiential taste of the beer (i.e. top-
down process influence sensory experience
LECTURE 16: Mental Accounting History of money: - Benefits of money o No intrinsic value
o Fungible – any unit is substitutable 
- But money is not always a rational entity Motivation for     mental accounting      - Even if the interest loss on your debt may be greater than the  interest gain from your savings, you will be want to keep the 
money in your savings even though you could save more by 

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School: Carnegie Mellon University
Department: Social Science
Course: Reason, Passion, and Cognition
Professor: Julie Downs
Term: Fall 2016
Name: Reason Passion & Cognition, Exam 3 Study Guide
Description: Lectures 15-19
Uploaded: 11/14/2016
13 Pages 79 Views 63 Unlocks
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