Attentional shifts and preference reversals: An eye-tracking study

Carlos Alós-Ferrer, Alexander Jaudas, Alexander Ritschel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The classic preference reversal phenomenon, where monetary evaluations contra-dict risky choices, has been argued to arise due to a focus on outcomes during the evaluation of alternatives, leading to overpricing of long-shot options. Such an ex-planation makes the implicit assumption that attentional shifts drive the phenomenon. We conducted an eye-tracking study to causally test this hypothesis by comparing a treatment based on cardinal, monetary evaluations with a different treatment avoiding a monetary frame. We find a significant treatment effect in the form of a shift in attention toward outcomes (relative to probabilities) when evaluations are monetary. Our evidence suggests that attentional shifts resulting from the monetary frame of evaluations are a driver of preference reversals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-93
Number of pages37
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Compatibility hypothesis
  • Eye-tracking
  • Preference reversals
  • Ranking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics


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