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REASON-BASED CHOICE AND CONTEXT-DEPENDENCE: AN EXPLANATORY FRAMEWORK

  • Franz Dietrich (a1) and Christian List (a1)

Abstract:

We introduce a ‘reason-based’ framework for explaining and predicting individual choices. The key idea is that a decision-maker focuses on some but not all properties of the options and chooses an option whose ‘motivationally salient’ properties he/she most prefers. Reason-based explanations can capture two kinds of context-dependent choice: (i) the motivationally salient properties may vary across choice contexts, and (ii) they may include ‘context-related’ properties, not just ‘intrinsic’ properties of the options. Our framework allows us to explain boundedly rational and sophisticated choice behaviour. Since properties can be recombined in new ways, it also offers resources for predicting choices in unobserved contexts.

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