We propose a novel experimental design aimed at investigating whether inducing individuals to use certain choice procedures has an effect on the outcome of their decision. Specifically, by implementing a modification of the mouse-tracing method, we induce subjects to use either alternative-based or characteristic-based search procedures in a between-subject lottery-choice experiment. We find that encouraging subjects to search by characteristic systematically makes them choose riskier options. Consistently with existing literature, our evidence indicates that individuals typically look up information within alternatives. However, when induced to search by characteristic, high prizes receive more attention, leading individuals to switch to noncompensatory heuristics and – consequently – make riskier choices. Our findings are robust to variations in the complexity of the choice problem and individual differences in risk-attitudes, CRT scores, and gender.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Judgment and Decision Making|
|Publication status||Published - 31 May 2020|
- Alternative-Based Search
- Characteristic-Based Search
- Risky Choice