Good luck, bad luck, and ambiguity aversion

2014-10-17T12:15:58Z (GMT) by Briony Dawn Pulford Poonam Gill
We report a series of experiments investigating the influence of feeling lucky or unlucky on people’s choice of known- risk or ambiguous options using the traditional Ellsberg Urns decision-making task. We induced a state of feeling lucky or unlucky in subjects by using a rigged wheel-of-fortune game, which just missed either the bankrupt or the jackpot outcome. In the first experiment a large reversal of the usual ambiguity aversion effect was shown, indicating that feeling lucky made subjects significantly more ambiguity seeking than usual. However, this effect failed to replicate in five refined and larger follow-up experiments. Thus we conclude that there is no evidence that feeling lucky reliably influences ambiguity aversion. Men were less ambiguity averse than women when there were potential gains to be had, but there were no gender differences when the task was negatively framed in terms of losses.