Monday, 20 November 2017

Human's seem to want to have control over potential gains and losses, rather than delegating

In Are you a control freak or a delegator? Personality quiz Ben Ambridge reports on research showing that most people want to make their own decisions, even if they know it will cost them more.

This is based on the paper The intrinsic value of choice: The propensity to under-delegate in the face of potential gains and losses by Sebastian Bobadilla-Suarez, Cass R. Sunstein and Tali Sharot. Here's the abstract:
Human beings are often faced with a pervasive problem: whether to make their own decision or to delegate the decision task to someone else. Here, we test whether people are inclined to forgo monetary rewards in order to retain agency when faced with choices that could lead to losses and gains. In a simple choice task, we show that participants choose to pay in order to control their own payoff more than they should if they were to maximize monetary rewards and minimize monetary losses. This tendency cannot be explained by participants’ overconfidence in their own ability, as their perceived ability was elicited and accounted for. Nor can the results be explained by lack of information. Rather, the results seem to reflect an intrinsic value for choice, which emerges in the domain of both gains and of losses. Moreover, our data indicate that participants are aware that they are making suboptimal choices in the normative sense, but do so anyway, presumably for psychological gains.

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