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Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions

Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman
The Journal of Business
Vol. 59, No. 4, Part 2: The Behavioral Foundations of Economic Theory (Oct., 1986), pp. S251-S278
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2352759
Page Count: 28
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Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions
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Abstract

Alternative descriptions of a decision problem often give rise to different preferences, contrary to the principle of invariance that underlies the rational theory of choice. Violations of this theory are traced to the rules that govern the framing of decision and to the psychophysical principles of evaluation embodied in prospect theory. Invariance and dominance are obeyed when their application is transparent and often violated in other situations. Because these rules are normatively essential but descriptively invalid, no theory of choice can be both normatively adequate and descriptively accurate.

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