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Nudged Towards Rationality: Probability Distortion with and without Expected Value

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This paper analyzes responses to a survey using a modified fourfold pattern of preference to determine if implicit information, once made explicit, is practically significant in nudging irrational decision makers towards more rational decisions. Respondents chose between two scenarios and

This paper analyzes responses to a survey using a modified fourfold pattern of preference to determine if implicit information, once made explicit, is practically significant in nudging irrational decision makers towards more rational decisions. Respondents chose between two scenarios and an option for indifference for each of the four questions from the fourfold pattern with expected value being implicit information. Then respondents were asked familiarity with expected value and given the same four questions again but with the expected value for each scenario then explicitly given. Respondents were asked to give feedback if their answers had changed and if the addition of the explicit information was the reason for that change. Results found the addition of the explicit information in the form of expected value to be practically significant with ~90% of respondents who changed their answers giving that for the reason. In the implicit section of the survey, three out of four of the questions had a response majority of lower expected value answers given compared to the alternative. In the explicit section of the survey, all four questions achieved a response majority of higher expected value answers given compared to the alternative. In moving from the implicit to the explicit section, for each question, the scenario with lower expected value experienced a decrease in percentage of responses, and the scenario with higher expected value and indifference between the scenarios both experienced an increase in percentage of responses.

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2019-05

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Linear Modeling for Insurance Ratemaking/Reserving: Modeling Loss Development Factors for Catastrophe Claims

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Catastrophe events occur rather infrequently, but upon their occurrence, can lead to colossal losses for insurance companies. Due to their size and volatility, catastrophe losses are often treated separately from other insurance losses. In fact, many property and casualty insurance

Catastrophe events occur rather infrequently, but upon their occurrence, can lead to colossal losses for insurance companies. Due to their size and volatility, catastrophe losses are often treated separately from other insurance losses. In fact, many property and casualty insurance companies feature a department or team which focuses solely on modeling catastrophes. Setting reserves for catastrophe losses is difficult due to their unpredictable and often long-tailed nature. Determining loss development factors (LDFs) to estimate the ultimate loss amounts for catastrophe events is one method for setting reserves. In an attempt to aid Company XYZ set more accurate reserves, the research conducted focuses on estimating LDFs for catastrophes which have already occurred and have been settled. Furthermore, the research describes the process used to build a linear model in R to estimate LDFs for Company XYZ's closed catastrophe claims from 2001 \u2014 2016. This linear model was used to predict a catastrophe's LDFs based on the age in weeks of the catastrophe during the first year. Back testing was also performed, as was the comparison between the estimated ultimate losses and actual losses. Future research consideration was proposed.

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2018-05

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The Decision Behavior of Ant Colonies in Response to an Ebbinghaus Illusion

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Evolutionary theory predicts that animal behavior is generally governed by decision rules (heuristics) which adhere to ecological rationality: the tendency to make decisions that maximize fitness in most situations the animal encounters. However, the particular heuristics used by ant colonies

Evolutionary theory predicts that animal behavior is generally governed by decision rules (heuristics) which adhere to ecological rationality: the tendency to make decisions that maximize fitness in most situations the animal encounters. However, the particular heuristics used by ant colonies of the genus Temnothorax and their propensity towards ecological rationality are up for debate. These ants are adept at choosing a nest site, making a collective decision based on complex interactions between the many individual choices made by workers. Colonies will migrate between nests either upon the destruction of their current home or the discovery of a sufficiently superior nest. This study offers a descriptive analysis of the heuristics potentially used in nest-site decision-making. Colonies were offered a choice of nests characterized by the Ebbinghaus Illusion: a perceptual illusion which effectively causes the viewer to perceive a circle as larger when it is surrounded by small circles than when that same circle is surrounded by large circles. Colonies were separated into two conditions: in one, they were given the option to move to a high-quality nest surrounded by poor-quality nests, and in the other they were given the option to move to a high-quality nest surrounded by medium-quality nests. The colonies in the poor condition were found to be more likely to move to the good nest than were colonies in the medium condition at a statistically significant level. That is, they responded to the Ebbinghaus Effect in the way that is normally expected. This result was discussed in terms of its implications for the ecological rationality of the nest-site choice behavior of these ants.

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2014-05

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Graduate Education: Perception vs. Reality

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In recent years, the number of applications for admission to graduate education programs has increased. Researchers attempted to gain insight into this increase by examining student perception of the costs and benefits of pursuing graduate-level education. In order to gauge

In recent years, the number of applications for admission to graduate education programs has increased. Researchers attempted to gain insight into this increase by examining student perception of the costs and benefits of pursuing graduate-level education. In order to gauge this perception, researchers administered an online survey to 151 subjects from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. Student perception was then compared to data released by ASU detailing actual costs and benefits of obtaining graduate-level education. Researchers' prediction that increased levels of parental education would be associated with more accurate estimates of the benefits of graduate-level education was correct at a statistically significant level. Further, being male was statistically significantly associated with an increase in starting salary overestimation.

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2015-05

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A Behavioral Economic Exploration of Risk and Loss Aversions Among College Students

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The field of behavioral economics explores the ways in which individuals make choices under uncertainty, in part, by examining the role that risk attitudes play in a person’s efforts to maximize their own utility. This thesis aims to contribute to

The field of behavioral economics explores the ways in which individuals make choices under uncertainty, in part, by examining the role that risk attitudes play in a person’s efforts to maximize their own utility. This thesis aims to contribute to the body of economic literature regarding risk attitudes by first evaluating the traditional economic method for discerning risk coefficients by examining whether students provide reasonable answers to lottery questions. Second, the answers of reasonable respondents are subject to our economic model using the CRRA utility function in which Python code is used to make predictions of the risk coefficients of respondents via a two-step regression procedure. Lastly, the degree to which the economic model provides a good fit for the lottery answers given by reasonable respondents is discerned. The most notable findings of the study are as follows. College students had extreme difficulty in understanding lottery questions of this sort, with Medical and Life Science majors struggling significantly more than both Business and Engineering majors. Additionally, gender was correlated with estimated risk coefficients, with females being more risk-loving relative to males. Lastly, in regards to the model’s goodness of fit when evaluating potential losses, the expected utility model involving choice under uncertainty was consistent with the behavior of progressives and moderates but inconsistent with the behavior of conservatives.

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2021-05

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Homeward Bound: An Overview of Continuing Care at Home

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AARP estimates that 90% of seniors wish to remain in their homes during retirement. Seniors need assistance as they age, historically they have received assistance from either family members, nursing homes, or Continuing Care Retirement Communities. For seniors not wanting

AARP estimates that 90% of seniors wish to remain in their homes during retirement. Seniors need assistance as they age, historically they have received assistance from either family members, nursing homes, or Continuing Care Retirement Communities. For seniors not wanting any of these options, there has been very few alternatives. Now, the emergence of the continuing care at home program is providing hope for a different method of elder care moving forward. CCaH programs offer services such as: skilled nursing care, care coordination, emergency response systems, aid with personal and health care, and transportation. Such services allow seniors to continue to live in their own home with assistance as their health deteriorates over time. Currently, only 30 CCaH programs exist. With the growth of the elderly population in the coming years, this model seems poised for growth.

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Date Created
2019-05