I am going through some of my old grad school notes, and in my microeconomics notes on transitive preferences, the teacher made a note of a behavioral economics result where when presented with two dates, A and B, a person might say they would strictly prefer A to B. Then when presented with A, B, and B', where B' was slightly uglier than B, then suddenly the preferences might turn into B preferred to A preferred to B'.

Does anyone know what paper this could be taken from? My notes here were written in September 2015, so the paper would have to have been earlier than this.


1 Answer 1


I do not know the paper you are referring to but the behavioural bias is called the attraction effect or decoy effect (wiki). It is well known in behavioural economics and psychology, so it should be easy to find sources for it.

  • $\begingroup$ This is pretty much what I am looking for. My teacher may not have been citing an exact paper, or may have been showcasing a phenomenon using a stylized example. Thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Kitsune Cavalry
    Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 17:12

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