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Games 2010, 1(1), 34-52; doi:10.3390/g1010034
Article

The Influence of Priming on Reference States

Max-Planck-Institute of Economics, Kahlaische Str. 10, D-07745 Jena, Germany
Received: 27 January 2010 / Revised: 8 March 2010 / Accepted: 12 March 2010 / Published: 16 March 2010
Download PDF [366 KB, 23 March 2010; original version 16 March 2010]

Abstract

Experimental and empirical evidence shows that the utility an individual derives from a certain state depends on the reference state she compares it to. According to economic theory, the reference state is determined by past, present and future outcomes of either the individual herself or her reference group. The experiment described in this paper suggests that, in addition, reference states depend to a significant degree on environmental factors not relevant for outcomes. It indicates that reference states - and hence utility - can relatively easily be influenced without changing people’s outcomes, e.g., through priming.
Keywords: reference state; utility; prospect theory; manipulation; priming; experiment reference state; utility; prospect theory; manipulation; priming; experiment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Matthey, A. The Influence of Priming on Reference States. Games 2010, 1, 34-52.

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