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The effect of reward-rescaling on risk preference

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Rigoli, F., Dayan, P., & Dolan, R. (2013). The effect of reward-rescaling on risk preference. Poster presented at 1st Multidisciplinary Conference on Reinforcement Learning and Decision Making (RLDM 2013), Princeton, NJ, USA.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-DAEC-D
Several findings indicate that value-based decision-making is context-dependent. However, the
influence of the value range of preceding choices within a context has not been investigated. We studied this
influence on risk preference, using a paradigm where people chose between risky and non-risky options with
the same expected value. Crucially, the same choice could be either relatively good or bad, depending on the
preceding choices presented in the context. At variance with standard economic models such as expected
utility and prospect theory, participants were more risk prone with good choices. Moreover, risk preferences
for the same choices in different contexts increased when these choices were relatively good rather than
relatively bad. Overall, these results suggest that participants rescaled choice values depending on the value
range of the preceding choices within a context. In addition, the rescaling was non-linear, thus leading to modifications in risk preference.