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Procedural Invariance and Its Violations

Procedural invariance states that preferences over prospects (i.e., gambles, or any other risky states that can be described as a probability p of getting outcome/payoff x) are independent of the method used to elicit them. In other words, procedural invariance, an important pillar of rational choice, demands that strategically equivalent methods of elicitation will give rise to the same preference order. Satisfaction of procedural invariance is implied by the orderability axiom of von Neumann-Morgenstern utility theory. In medical decision making, procedural invariance is the condition that a person's preference ranking of two health states should not depend on the elicitation procedure. For example, suppose one uses both the visual analog scale and the standard gamble to assign quality weights to two health states. Procedural invariance ...

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