Suboptimal choices and the need for experienced individual well-being in economic analysis Online publication date: Sat, 30-Aug-2014
by Christopher K. Hsee; Yuval Rottenstreich; Alois Stutzer
International Journal of Happiness and Development (IJHD), Vol. 1, No. 1, 2012
Abstract: Standard economic analysis assumes that people make choices that maximise their utility. Yet both popular discourse and other fields assume that people sometimes fail to make optimal choices and thus adversely affect their own happiness. Most social sciences thus frequently describe some patterns of decision as suboptimal. We review evidence of suboptimal choices that arise for two reasons. First, people err in predicting the utility they may accrue from available choice options due to the evaluation mode. Second, people choose on the basis of salient rules that are unlikely to maximise utility. Our review is meant to highlight the possibility of a research programme that combines economic analysis with measures of individuals' experienced well-being to improve people's happiness.
Online publication date: Sat, 30-Aug-2014
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