Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2019, 67, 243-252
Published online 2019-02-28

Where Do You Want to Go Skiing? The Effect of the Reference Point and Loss Aversion

Zuzana Gocmanová1, Jaromír Skorkovský2, Štěpán Veselý3,4, Jan Böhm5,6

1DELL Bratislava, Fazuľová 7, 811 07 Bratislava, Slovakia
2Department of Corporate Economy, Faculty of Economics and Administration, Masaryk University, Lipová 41a, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic
3Department of Economics, Faculty of Business and Management, Brno University of Technology, Kolejní 4, Brno, Czech Republic
4Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Arne Nováka 1, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic
5Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Faculty of Economics and Administration, Masaryk University, Lipová 41a, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic
6Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic

Received March 14, 2018
Accepted November 12, 2018

We reported the results from a simple experiment where participants (n = 646) picked their preferred winter holiday from three possible alternatives. To make the experiment as realistic as possible, the alternatives among which participants could choose, were very similar to actual winter holidays offered by an existing travel agency. Our results are consistent with predictions made by prospect theory: alternatives that compare favorably to a reference option are chosen more often than alternatives that compare unfavorably to a reference option. The reference option, experimentally manipulated in this paper, was one of the three alternatives available to participants. Including different reference alternatives into the available choice set changed relative preferences over the remaining alternatives. Our findings provide further evidence that prospect theory can have practical implications for marketers who can influence consumer choice by merely presenting specially composed sets of alternatives.


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