Is “Generic Utility Theory” a Suitable Theory of Choice Behavior for Gambles with Mixed Gains and Losses?

Chechile, Richard A.; Butler, Susan F.
March 2000
Journal of Risk & Uncertainty;Mar2000, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p189
Academic Journal
Miyamoto's (1988, 1992) generic utility theory (GUT) subsumes a broad class of bilinear utility models. Chechile and Cooke (1997) tested the GUT class of models and found model failure due to the systematic variation of a parameter that should be a positive constant across a range of contexts. In the current study, an improved experimental design is employed to evaluate utility theory. The current study provides further evidence against the GUT class of models for mixed gambles. Moreover, evidence is also provided to demonstrate individual behavior that is incompatible with a coherent bilinear utility theory of choice behavior in the context of mixed gambles with gains and losses.


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