- Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
- Social sciences
17 May 2022
Revisiting mental accounting classic paradigms: Replication of Thaler (1999) and an extension examining impulsivity
Mental accounting under the microscopeRecommended by Chris Chambers based on reviews by Barnabas Imre Szaszi and Féidhlim McGowan
In recent years, the study of mental accounting – the thought processes by which people informally record, categorise, and evaluate the costs and benefits of their financial transactions – has been an active research area, drawing attention to a range of biases and distortions that deviate from optimal economic decision-making (Zhang & Sussman, 2018). Although the term “mental accounting” is a relatively recent construction (Thaler, 1999), it stems from a longer history of behavioural economic research on value functions, decision frames, risk-taking, and related concepts.
In the current study, Li and Feldman propose to replicate 17 influential mental accounting problems (or tasks) reviewed by Thaler (1999) in a large online sample. The authors also propose several extensions examining the effects of sunk costs and expenses framing.
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over two rounds of in-depth review. Based on detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/d6cjk
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA.
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
- Advances in Cognitive Psychology
- Journal of Cognition
- Peer Community Journal
- Royal Society Open Science
- Swiss Psychology Open
1. Zhang, C. Y., & Sussman, A. B. (2018). Perspectives on mental accounting: An exploration of budgeting and investing. Financial Planning Review, 1, e1011. https://doi.org/10.1002/cfp2.1011
2. Thaler, R. H. (1999). Mental accounting matters. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 12, 183-206. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-0771(199909)12:3%3C183::AID-BDM318%3E3.0.CO;2-F
3. Li, M. & Feldman, G. (2022). Revisiting mental accounting classic paradigms: Replication of the problems reviewed in Thaler (1999), in principle acceptance of Version 2 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/d6cjk