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Choices, Values, and Frames Paperback – September 25, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0521627498 ISBN-10: 0521627494 Edition: 1st

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Choices, Values, and Frames + Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases + Thinking, Fast and Slow
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 860 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (September 25, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521627494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521627498
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Daniel Kahneman and the late Amos Tversky have started a new perspective on the traditional economic categories of choice, decision, and value. A series of experimental and empirical studies by them and others have rejected traditional economic assumptions of rationality. Even more importantly, these scholars have developed alternative generalizations with significant predictive power and have found empirical verification for them. This outstanding collection of studies will make these new results widely accessible." Kenneth J. Arrow, Joan Kenney Professor of Economics, Emeritus and Professor of Operations Research, Emeritus, Stanford University

Book Description

Choices, Values, and Frames presents an empirical and theoretical challenge to classical utility theory, offering prospect theory as an alternative framework. Extensions and applications to diverse economic phenomena and to studies of consumer behavior are discussed. The book also elaborates on framing effects and other demonstrations that preferences are constructed in context, and it develops new approaches to the standard view of choice-based utility. As with the classic 1982 volume, Judgment Under Uncertainty, this volume is comprised of papers published in diverse academic journals. The editors have written several new chapters and a preface to provide a context for the work.

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72 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Denis Benchimol Minev on July 15, 2003
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Kahneman and Tversky's compilation of articles in this book is an outstanding exposition of recent advances in cognitive psychology, especially advances associated with prospect theory. The work presented in this volume is largely responsible for the authors being awarded the Nobel Prize (Tversky died before receiving it).
The text is somewhat dense at parts, being aimed at economists and psychologists with some mathematical familiarity. However, the portions of the book that require much mathematics can safely be bypassed without losing much of the substance of the text. This text is the most credible presentation of an alternative theory to the rational actor theory usually assumed in economics. For example, some of the articles help explain the magnitude of the equity return premium, or help show how people make choices differently in similar situations based simply on the way the situation is presented.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in decision making theory, especially as it relates to consumer behavior. It is a brilliant volume that includes the most important articles by the leading mind in the field.
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67 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Herbert Gintis on August 23, 2001
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Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky have spent their whole lives developing an alternative to the "rational actor" model of human decision-making, the standard of traditional economic theory and the decision sciences. Their ideas were received rather well from the start, but in recent years, their alternative, which we can fairly call "behavioral economics" has virtually displaced traditional decision theory as an active research area.
People often think of the Kahneman-Tversky behaviorists as "bomb-throwers" in the sense that they appear to love to destroy traditional concepts of rationality rather that put constructive models in their place. This collection, which consists of 42 very high quality essays by the leading lights of the field, shows clearly that this is not the case. Prospect theory, loss aversion, framing effets, status quo effect, and the like are carefully modeled in this book. I came away quite impressed.
It is a shame that Amos Tversky never lived to see the light of day of this fine volume. It is certainly a vigorous vindication of his lifetime research agenda.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By D. Stuart on January 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Daniel Kahneman and the late Amos Tversky are two of the Godfathers of behavioural economics - and their body of work since the 1970s gave a really firm yank on the rug of rationality that had thus-far supported traditional theories of human economic behaviour. The "rational consumer" we met in Economics 101 is actually a bundle of conflicts and paradoxes - and this volume is a colleciton of 42 essays that explain why people can make seemingly illogical decisions when confronted by choices, or risks.

The papers, some of them densely mathematical and others written in cogent plain English, demonstrate through experiments and some quite entertaining observations the various layers of logic we use when we make trade-off decisions.

One human skew comes from the way we tend to weigh up uncertainty and risk: and our tendency to vividly imagine downsides while having only a loose picture of upsides.

A second family of biases comes from our tendency to contextualise decisions and choices in different ways: to "reframe" the way we see problems and thus skew our outcomes.

A third family of human biases comes from our many perceptual biases, for example in the way we recall standout features from one sample, and then act as if these standouts (a couple of famous names for example)are representative of the whole sample.

Taken together we get a rich picture of human decision behaviour that is applicable in economics, marketing or - (for example) in the specific worlds of medical professionals who must evaluate data, frame each situation and make critical professional decisions.

This text is important, and provides rich reading for researchers in a wide number of fields.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By P. Hawley on December 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
A definitive text. Choices, Values and Frames is no casual read but is a first class exposition of the basics in this area of cognitive psychology. I read it from the perspective of a healthcare practitioner trying to understand more about why 'risk' judgements seem so variable and subjective. The insights gained from Choices, Values and Frames have already modified my behaviour.
The only weakness of the text is that it assumes that the reader has reasonable literacy in manipulating abstract mathematical concepts. More exposition would have been appreciated here. However, even if one does not understand the more 'mathematical' sections the book as a whole is still an engaging exposition of how humans process decisions under risk and uncertainty.
A 'must read' for anybody seriously interested in, but unfamiliar with, this area of cognitive psychology
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Beaumont Vance on July 31, 2006
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I wonder, what can one say abot work that has already won the Nobel Prize that can possibly add to the estimation of a work? Being far too insignificant to lend any great weight to the already abundant praise for this work, I can only perhaps illuminate an application of the material that seems to have been overlooked.

Regarding the field of risk management (not the wll street kind, but just regular risk decision making in business) this book is of inestimable value. I have often notices certain biases towards risk aversion or risk taking when business decisions are beign made. Much seemed to be due to the context. This work shows exactly why and how decision bias arises. This is the foundation for the creation of a useful risk decision analytical framework.

The paper of interest to me relate to why people will choose to take or avoid risks that, according to utility theory, are the wrong decisions. For example, why pepole buy insurance even when it is a better financial choice to be uninsured. These works explain why and under what circumstances one's biases override logic. Why this is not a common text on the desk of every risk manager, I will never know.

In this one volume, there is enough information to design an utterly new field of risk management and to solve most every problem one can face. This has become the one reference material that I considre indespensible. throw out the CPCU and ARM texts that you never use and can't bear to read ever again. Chuck them and place this volume in their place and you will be far, far better off.
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