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Ulric B. and Evelyn L. Bray Social Sciences Seminar

Monday, October 19, 2020
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Online Event
Loss Attitudes in the U.S. Population: Evidence from Dynamically Optimized Sequential Experimentation (DOSE)
Colin F. Camerer, Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Economics; T&C Chen Center for Social and Decision Neuroscience Leadership Chair; Director T&C Chen Center for Social and Decision Neuroscience, Caltech,
Erik Snowberg,

Abstract: To measure individual-level loss aversion in a representative sample of the U.S. population (N= 2,000), we introduce DOSE—Dynamically Optimized Sequential Experimentation. We find that around 50% of the U.S. population is loss tolerant. This is counter to earlier findings, which mostly come from lab/student samples, that a strong majority of participants are loss averse. Loss attitudes are correlated with cognitive ability: loss aversion is more prevalent in people with high cognitive ability, and loss tolerance is more common in those with low cognitive ability. We also use DOSE to document facts about risk and time preferences, and demonstrate that DOSE elicitations are more accurate, more stable across time, and faster to administer than standard methods.

For more information, or if you are interested in attending this online seminar, please contact Letty Diaz by phone at 626-395-1255 or by email at letty.diaz@caltech.edu.