Daniel Bartels

Proportion Dominance: The Generality and Variability of Favoring Relative Savings over Absolute Savings

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Abstract:

Four studies probe Ps' sensitivity to absolute and relative savings. In three studies, Ps read scenarios forcing a tradeoff of saving more lives (230 vs. 225) vs. saving a larger proportion of a population (225/230 = 75% vs. 230/920 = 25%). Ps' preferences were driven by both absolute and relative savings. Maximizing relative savings, called "proportion dominance" (PD), at the expense of absolute savings is non-normative, and most participants concur with this argument upon reflection (Studies 2 and 3). PD is related to individual differences, such that people scored as "rational" thinkers exhibited less PD than people scored as "experiential" thinkers (Studies 1 and 3). Finally, a fourth study extends these results, finding proportion dominance in other domains using a different paradigm. These four studies demonstrate both the generality (across domains and paradigms) and the variability (inter- and intraindividual) of proportion dominance.

The PDF above is a preprint version of the article. The final version may be found at < http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2005.10.004 >.

Source: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Exact Citation:
Bartels, Daniel. "Proportion Dominance: The Generality and Variability of Favoring Relative Savings over Absolute Savings." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 100 (2006): 76-95.
Volume: 100
Pages: 76-95
Date: 2006