Experimental Design Details
In Section 1, there are two blocks, A and B, each consists of 20 decision problems representing a set of portfolio options associated with two equally probable unknown states. This is the most common design in studying decisions under risk (e.g. Choi et al., 2014; Carvalho et al., 2016; Kim et al., 2018). There are three treatment groups: direct decision-making, sequential elimination and process selection. Participants firstly complete Block A without knowing that Block B consists of the same decision problems as BlockA. In Block B, participants in the direct decision-making group are presented with their Block A choices and can make different choices. Participants in the sequential elimination group are presented with their Part A sequence of eliminated alternatives) and can eliminate alternatives differently. In the end, every participant is asked to choose only one of Block A and B for payment. Then the computer randomly chooses one round from the 20 rounds from the chosen block with equal probability. The participant will get rewarded depending on the outcome of this chosen round.
In Section 2, The ICAR consists of 12 questions about verbal reasoning, letter and number series, matrix reasoning, and three-dimensional rotation (Condon and Revelle, 2014). The CRT measures one’s ability to suppress an intuitive and spontaneous incorrect answer and instead to give the deliberative and reflective correct answer (Frederick 2005). The SCWT and the Sternberg task are standard tests in psychology to measure selective attentions and working memory capacity, respectively.
In Section 3, participants will have to imagine themselves in two sets of hypothetical scenarios and answer a few questions related to the scenarios. First, we present them with two inconsistent choices known as "attraction effects" and ask how comfortable they are. Participants who indicate that they are uncomfortable suggests that they have a strong preference for choice consistency. Second, to control for "consequentialism", we ask them to make a choice between two hypothetical trips in which they will be doing the same things: 1) The trip is planned by the subject herself; 2) The trip is planned by someone else; 3) Indifferent. Participants who select the third option suggests that they are more likely to focus on the consequence. Third, we will also ask a scenario of sunk cost fallacy because it may lead to higher satisfaction under the treatment conditions. I adapt the example from Arkes and Blumer (1985). Subjects are asked to imagine that they have spent $50 on a ticket for concert A and $100 on a ticket for concert B. They are also to imagine that they really prefer A to B, that they have just discovered that the events are mutually exclusive and that the tickets have no salvage value. They are asked which concert they would then choose to go to. Participants who select concert B suggests that they are affected by the sunk cost.