Journal article

Neurobiological studies of risk assessment: A comparison of expected utility and mean-variance approaches

Mathieu d'Acremont, Peter Bossaerts

COGNITIVE AFFECTIVE & BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE | SPRINGER | Published : 2008

Abstract

When modeling valuation under uncertainty, economists generally prefer expected utility because it has an axiomatic foundation, meaning that the resulting choices will satisfy a number of rationality requirements. In expected utility theory, values are computed by multiplying probabilities of each possible state of nature by the payoff in that state and summing the results. The drawback of this approach is that all state probabilities need to be dealt with separately, which becomes extremely cumbersome when it comes to learning. Finance academics and professionals, however, prefer to value risky prospects in terms of a trade-off between expected reward and risk, where the latter is usually m..

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University of Melbourne Researchers