Bateman, Ian J. Burgess, Diane Hutchinson, W. George Matthews, David I.
Year of Publication:
CSERGE Working Paper EDM 06-18
We extend the contingent valuation (CV) method to test three differing conceptions of individuals' preferences as either: (i) a-priori well-formed or readily divined and revealed through a single dichotomous choice question (as per the NOAA CV guidelines; Arrow et al., 1993]; (ii) learned or 'discovered' through a process of repetition and experience [Plott, 1996; List, 2003]; (iii) internally coherent but strongly influenced by some initial arbitrary anchor [Ariely et al., 2003]. Findings reject both the first and last of these conceptions in favour of a model in which preferences converge towards standard expectations through a process of repetition and learning.