2中国农业大学经济管理学院, 北京 100083;
3 Booth School of Business, The University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637, United States
Joint evaluation versus single evaluation: A field full of potentials
LU Xi1,2,HSEE. Christopher K.3
1 Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;
2 College of Economics and Management, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China;
3 Booth School of Business, The University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637, United States
Abstract：Evaluation mode is an important yet under-studied aspect of decision-making. All decisions are made in one of two evaluation modes or some mix of the two. One is joint evaluation (JE), in which different options are presented together and evaluated simultaneously. The other is single evaluation (SE), in which different options are presented separately, and each option is evaluated in isolation.
This article reviews existing literature on how JE and SE can lead to reversed preferences, with one option favored in JE and another option favored in SE, in domains including hiring, consumer choice, moral judgments and healthcare decisions. For example, in JE, a plain-looking but experienced job candidate would be favored over a good-looking but less-experienced job candidate, but in SE, the good-looking but less experienced candidate would be favored.
We also review existing research on the “less is better” phenomenon–that in SE (but not in JE), a normatively less valuable option is judged more favorably than its more valuable alternative. For example, in SE (but not in JE), 7 oz. of ice cream served in a 5-oz. cup is valued more favorably than 8 oz. of ice cream served in a 10-oz. cup.
To interpret JE/SE preference reversals and the less-is-better effect, several explanations have been proposed, such as a want/should conflict, a within-category versus between-category comparison, the option as information model, and the dual-process model. The present review focuses on the general evaluability theory (GET), which ascribes JE/SE preference reversals and the less-is-better effect to attribute evaluability. According to GET, the evaluability of an attribute depends conjunctively on three factors: evaluation mode (JE versus SE), knowledge of the decision-maker about the attribute, and the inherent/learned nature of the attribute. Not only can GET explain JE/SE preference reversals and the less-is-better effect, it also explains many other effects, such as scope neglect, differences in risk preference between JE and SE, differences in time preference between JE and SE, misprediction of future hedonic experiences, and so on.
Understanding JE-SE differences and attribute evaluability also offers insight into how to improve decisions in contexts such as fundraising, pricing strategy, public service, and subjective well-being.
The review suggests that evaluation mode (JE versus SE) is an important independent variable that influences a wide range of decisions in counterintuitive ways and thereby provides opportunities to design choice-architecture-based nudges to improve decisions. Yet despite its importance, evaluation mode has not been well-studied and therefore is a fertile ground for researchers to explore and develop.
HSEE, Christopher K., E-mail: email@example.com; 路西, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
路西, HSEE. Christopher K.. 联合评估和单独评估：富有潜力的助推手段[J]. 心理学报, 2018, 50(8): 827-839.
LU Xi, HSEE. Christopher K.. Joint evaluation versus single evaluation: A field full of potentials. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2018, 50(8): 827-839.
Bazerman, M. H., Gino, F., Shu, L. L., & Tsay, C.-J. (2011). Joint evaluation as a real-world tool for managing emotional assessments of morality. Emotion Review, 3(3), 290–292. Bazerman, M. H., Loewenstein, G. F., & White, S. B. (1992). Reversals of preference in allocation decisions: Judging an alternative versus choosing among alternatives. Administrative Science Quarterly, 37(2), 220–240. Chatterjee, S., Heath, T. B., & Min, J. H. (2009). The susceptibility of mental accounting principles to evaluation mode effects. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 22(2), 120-137. Cooney, G., Gilbert, D. T., & Wilson, T. D. (2016). When fairness matters less than we expect. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(40), 11168–11171. Desvousges, W. H., Johnson, F. R., Dunford, R. W., Boyle, K. J., Hudson, S. P., & Wilson, K. N. (1992). Measuring nonuse damages using contingent valuation: An experimental evaluation of accuracy. Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press. Dunn, E. W., Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2003). Location, Location, Location: The misprediction of satisfaction in housing lotteries. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(11), 1421–1432. Evers, E. R. K., Inbar, Y., Blanken, I., & Oosterwijk, L. D. (2017). When do people prefer carrots to sticks? A robust “matching effect” in policy evaluation. Management Science, 63(12), 4261–4276. Fox, C. R., & Tversky, A. (1995). Ambiguity aversion and comparative ignorance. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 110(3), 585–603. Fredrick, S., Loewenstein, G., & O’Donoghue, T. (2002). Time discounting and time preference: A critical review. Journal of Economic Literature, 40, 351–401. Gilbert, D. T., & Wilson, T. D. (2009). Why the brain talks to itself: Sources of error in emotional prediction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1521), 1335–1341. Gino, F., Moore, D. N., & Bazerman, M. H. (2008). No harm, no foul: The outcome bias in ethical judgments. Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 08-080. Gustafson, C. R., Lybbert, T. J., & Sumner, D. A. (2016). Consumer knowledge affects valuation of product attributes: Experimental results for wine. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 65, 85–94. Hsee, C. K. (1993). When trend of monetary outcomes matters: Separate versus joint evaluation and judgment of feelings versus choice. Working paper. Hsee, C. K. (1996). The evaluability hypothesis: An explanation for preference reversals between joint and separate evaluations of alternatives. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 67(3), 247–257. Hsee, C. K. (1998). Less is better: When low-value options are valued more highly than high-value options. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 11(2), 107–121. Hsee, C. K., & Zhang, J. (2004). Distinction bias: Misprediction and mischoice due to joint evaluation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86(5), 680–695. Hsee, C. K., & Zhang, J. (2010). General evaluability theory. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(4), 343–355. Hsee, C. K., Shen, L. X., Zhang, S., Chen, J. Q., & Zhang, L. (2012). Fate or fight: Exploring the hedonic costs of competition. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 119(2), 177–186. Hsee, C. K., Yang, Y., Li, N. H., & Shen, L. X. (2009). Wealth, warmth, and well-being: Whether happiness is relative or absolute depends on whether it is about money, acquisition, or consumption. Journal of Marketing Research, 46(3), 396–409. Hsee, C. K., Zhang, J., Lu, Z. Y., & Xu, F. (2013). Unit asking: A method to boost donations and beyond. Psychological Science, 24(9), 1801–1808. Hsee, C. K., Zhang, J., Wang, L. Y., & Zhang, S. (2013). Magnitude, time, and risk differ similarly between joint and single evaluations. Journal of Consumer Research, 40(1), 172–184. Kahneman, D., & Deaton, A. (2010). High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(38), 16489–16493. Kahneman, D., & Ritov, I. (1994). Determinants of stated willingness to pay for public goods: A study in the headline method. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 9(1), 5–37. Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica, 47(2), 263–292. Kahneman, D., Wakker, P. P., & Sarin, R. (1997). Back to Bentham? Explorations of experienced utility. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112(2), 375–405. Kogut, T., & Ritov, I. (2005). The singularity effect of identified victims in separate and joint evaluations. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 97(2), 106–116. Laibson, D. (1997). Golden eggs and hyperbolic discounting. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112(2), 443–478. List, J. A. (2002). Preference reversals of a different kind: The “more is less” phenomenon. American Economic Review, 92(5), 1636–1643. Newman, C. L., Howlett, E., & Burton, S. (2016). Effects of objective and evaluative front-of-package cues on food evaluation and choice: The moderating influence of comparative and noncomparative processing contexts. Journal of Consumer Research, 42(5), 749–766. Okada, E. M. (2005). Justification effects on consumer choice of hedonic and utilitarian goods. Journal of Marketing Research, 42(1), 43–53. Paharia, N., Kassam, K. S., Greene, J. D., & Bazerman, M. H. (2009). Dirty work, clean hands: The moral psychology of indirect agency. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 109(2), 134–141. Powdthavee, N., Riyanto Y. E., & Knetsc, J. K. (2017). Economists’ judgments of publication lists with lower ranked journals included: Evidence from a survey experiment. Working paper. Shaffer, V. A., & Arkes, H. R. (2009). Preference reversals in evaluations of cash versus non-cash incentives. Journal of Economic Psychology, 30(6), 859–872. Shen, L. X., Hsee, C. K., Wu, Q. S., & Tsai, C. I. (2012). Overpredicting and underprofiting in pricing decisions: Evaluability in pricing decisions. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 25(5), 512–521. Sher, S., & McKenzie, C. R. M. (2014). Options as information: Rational reversals of evaluation and preference. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(3), 1127–1143. Tu, Y. P., & Hsee, C. K. (2016). Consumer happiness derived from inherent preferences versus learned preferences. Current Opinion in Psychology, 10, 83–88. von Neumann, J., & Morgenstern, O. (1944). Theory of games and economic behavior (60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition). Princeton: Princeton University Press. Yang, A. X., Hsee, C. K., Liu, Y., & Zhang, L. (2011). The supremacy of singular subjectivity: Improving decision quality by removing objective specifications and direct comparisons. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 21(4), 393–404. Zhang, J. (2015). Joint versus separate modes of evaluation. In G. Keren & G. Wu (Eds.), The wiley blackwell handbook of judgment and decision making (pp. 211–238). Portsmouth: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Zikmund-Fisher, B. J., Fagerlin, A., & Ubel, P. A. (2004). “Is 28% good or bad?” Evaluability and preference reversals in health care decisions. Medical Decision Making, 24(2), 142–148.