Cooke, Alex and Kusev, Petko (2016) The Influence of Decision Content Comparability on Gain Loss Asymmetry. In: 57th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, 17-20th November 2016, USA. (Unpublished)

Whether positive and negative affects exist independently (Cacioppo & Berntson, 1994) or
coexist (Russel, 1980) has been heavily debated in psychological research. Recent work by McGraw et al. (2010) has supported the view of independent positive and negative utilitarian decision
functions. Specifically that gain and loss expected judgements, in response to a mixed monetary gamble, are processed in isolation (bipolar scales) and do not induce decision biases.
However, when the judgement options are forced into the same contextual space (unipolar scales), prompting direct comparisons, they induce loss-averse judgements. In contrast, we propose an alternative explanation based on decision content
comparability. Specifically, comparable decision
attributes fuel the gain and loss comparisons (inducing loss averse judgements). Moreover, our results showed that facilitating decision content comparability (DCC) (monetary gamble-monetary worth evaluation) produces loss aversion
regardless of whether gains and losses are considered in isolation. Accordingly, impeding DDC produces a decline in loss aversion.

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