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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56811. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056811. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Predictable or not? Individuals' risk decisions do not necessarily predict their next ones.

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  • 1Department of Management, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.


This research examines the extent to which people may be free to make choices by testing their consistency in choosing risk options. In two experiments, participants were instructed to make the "same" type of risk decisions repeatedly. Experiment 1 showed that when the information for decision is positively framed in terms of gain, the participant's choice in a particular decision could not be predicted by his or her choice in another decision (R(2)s<.02). Experiment 2 showed a statistically significant predictability when the information is negatively framed in terms of loss, although the predictability was still very low (R(2)s<.07). These findings indicate the existence of a large room of variations in which a person may freely choose.

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