Context Effects

Normative decision theory is often formulated to assume that decision makers have perfect information, a perfect grasp of their objectives, and the perfect ability to use that information to make uncertain decisions and further their objectives. It is common for psychologists to criticize the use of such strong assumptions as indefensible because they ignore the effects of important situational and contextual factors. In this respect, the term context can be defined in two distinct but conceptually related ways: (1) context as the presentation (description), or framing, of the decision problem, which determines how the task is conceptualized by the individual, and (2) context as the set of available choice options (e.g., in decision making under risk). Both types of context affect how the decision problem ...

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