The construction of preference
One of the main themes that has emerged from behavioral decision research during the past two decades is the view that people's preferences are often constructed--not merely revealed--in the process of elicitation. This conception is derived in part from studies demonstrating that normatively equivalent methods of elicitation often give rise to systematically different responses. These "preference reversals" violate the principle of procedure invariance fundamental to theories of rational choice and raise difficult questions about the nature of human values. If different elicitation procedures produce different orderings of options, how can preferences be defined and in what sense do they exist? Describing and explaining such failures of invariance will require choice models of far greater complexity than the traditional models.