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Title: Determining the value of decisions : evolutionary perspectives on risk and motivation
Author: Mallpress, Dave E. W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 8736
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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In the decision sciences, we often speak of the value of a choice. This concept of value raises normative (how should we value options?) and descriptive (how do we value options?) questions, both of which can be separated into further levels of analysis. Behaviour under risk and uncertainty is arguably the main focus for studying these questions and has inspired a rich tradition of experiments and theory, but robust and reliable answers are yet to be discovered. This thesis initially considers the leading descriptive account of decision making under risk, prospect theory, and whether there are plausible evolutionary explanations of this. We then explore the recent methods for eliciting risk attitudes (sequential risk tasks) which are beginning to be used more often than the more traditional methods. What are these approaches offering to our understanding of risk behaviour? Another interesting issue is how we compare 'apples with oranges'-that is, how should we value different necessary resources? In this realm it appears that even less is known, and there is substantially less of an existing theoretical framework to develop or criticise. This thesis explores the valuing of decisions where outcomes are uncertain and variable or are in the form of incommensurable rewards. This is achieved by surveying existing theories and approaches, and developing new methods for tackling these fundamental problems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available