Journal Article | Journal of Behavioral Decision Making | January 2010

A Choice Prediction Competition: Choices from Experience and from Description

by Ido Erev, Eyal Ert, Alvin E. Roth, Ernan E. Haruvy, Stefan Herzog, Robin Hau, Ralph Hertwig, Terrence Steward, Robert West and Christian Lebiere

Abstract

Erev, Ert, and Roth organized three choice prediction competitions focused on three related choice tasks: one-shot decisions from description (decisions under risk), one-shot decisions from experience, and repeated decisions from experience. Each competition was based on two experimental datasets: an estimation dataset and a competition dataset. The studies that generated the two datasets used the same methods and subject pool and examined decision problems randomly selected from the same distribution. After collecting the experimental data to be used for estimation, the organizers posted them on the Web, together with their fit with several baseline models, and challenged other researchers to compete to predict the results of the second (competition) set of experimental sessions. Fourteen teams responded to the challenge: the last seven authors of this paper are members of the winning teams. The results highlight the robustness of the difference between decisions from description and decisions from experience. The best predictions of decisions from descriptions were obtained with a stochastic variant of prospect theory assuming that the sensitivity to the weighted value decreases with the distance between the cumulative payoff functions. The best predictions of decisions from experience were obtained with models that assume reliance on small samples. Merits and limitations of the competition method are discussed.

Keywords: Experience and Expertise; Decision Choices and Conditions; Forecasting and Prediction; Mathematical Methods; Risk and Uncertainty; Competition;

Citation:

Erev, Ido, Eyal Ert, Alvin E. Roth, Ernan E. Haruvy, Stefan Herzog, Robin Hau, Ralph Hertwig, Terrence Steward, Robert West, and Christian Lebiere. "A Choice Prediction Competition: Choices from Experience and from Description." Special Issue on Decisions from Experience. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 23, no. 1 (January 2010).