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Indiana University Bloomington

Doctoral Programs

1960 Notable

From 1960-2013, we prepared nearly 1,200 men and women
for rewarding academic careers — that’s more than any other university.

Journal Articles

Criteria instability and the isolated option effect

2008, Organizational Behavior and Human Dec Proc

Mauricio Palmeira, H. Shanker Krishnan


In two-stage choices, decision makers often compare a new (isolated) option with the winner from the first stage. Previous research has identified a choice advantage for an isolated option, ostensibly due to loss aversion. We propose an alternative mechanism suggesting that instability of the criteria used in each choice stage is the main driver of the isolated option effect. Results from a series of experiments support the criteria instability account and not loss aversion as the explanation for the isolated option effect.


Palmeira, Mauricio and H. Shanker Krishnan (2008), “Criteria instability and the isolated option effect,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 106(2), 153-167.