ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (3): 406-417.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.00406

• Special Section in Honor of the 2017 Nobel Laureate in Economics Richard H. Thaler • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Disclosing behavioral anomalies in economic management: Implications for mental accounting theory

LIU Pei, FENG Yidan, LI Aimei(), LIU Wei, XIE Jianfei   

  1. Management School, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
  • Received:2018-04-23 Online:2019-03-15 Published:2019-01-22
  • Contact: Aimei LI


In 2017, Richard H. Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. A key contribution towards this was his work on progressing his theory of mental accounting. Of late this theory has been used to explain some behavioral anomalies contrary to the “rational economic man” hypothesis in two major areas including consumer decision-making and financial and management decision-making. This article takes the applied research in the two fields as the external logic, and the three major process of mental accounting as the internal logic, mainly exploring ten behavioral phenomenon anomalous, including the “label effect”, “budget effect”, “price illusions”, “decoupling effect” and “utility bias” in consumer decision-making; “fly-paper effect”, the “puzzle of remuneration perception”, “puzzle of taxes and investments”, the “puzzle of accounting information disclosure” and “disposition effect” in financial and management decision making. We hope to demonstrate the latest developments in mental accounting theory. Additionally, we also discuss two possible applications for the future. Firstly, further research might also be interested in the possible internal processes and mechanisms of mental accounting and its impact on human decision-making through eye-motion tracking technology and the technology of cognitive neuroscience. Secondly, future research may be concerned with the applications of mental accounting towards nudge theory; particularly in the context of government and organizational management.

Key words: mental accounting, consumer decision-making, financial and management decision-making, behavioral anomalies, nudge

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