ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (10): 1623-1635.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01623

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The description-experience gap in behavioral decision making: Interpretations of information processing

LIU Jian-Min; LI Hai-Lei; ZHANG Wen-Xin   

  1. (School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China)
  • Received:2016-01-21 Online:2016-10-15 Published:2016-10-15
  • Contact: LI Hai-Lei, E-mail:


The description-experience gap (D-E gap)refers to the observation that choices are influenced by whether information about potential alternatives is learned from a summary description or from the experience of sequentially sampling individual outcomes. In terms of the role that cognitive factors played in the development of decision paradigms, this literature review summarized the discovery of D-E gap and latest studies in this field. Within the cognitive process framework, relevant factors of D-E gap were discussed in terms of information processing, and D-E gap was explained in an overall perspective. Finally, the issues worthy of further research were also outlined, such as improving research methods, the comprehensive comparison of both decision-making paradigms.

Key words: decision from description, decision from experience, information processing, underweight rare events, description-experience gap