Consensus with oneself: Within-person choice aggregation in the laboratory

Michel Regenwetter, Anna Popova

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Unfortunately, the decision sciences are segregated into nearly distinct academic societies and distinct research paradigms. This intellectual isolationism has allowed different approaches to the decision sciences to suffer from different, but important, conceptual gaps. Following earlier efforts to cross-fertilize individual and social choice research, this paper applies behavioral social choice concepts to individual decision making. Repeated individual choice among identical pairs of choice alternatives often fluctuates dramatically over even very short time periods. Social choice theory usually ignores this because it identifies each individual with a single fixed weak order. Behavioral individual decision research may expose itself to Condorcet paradoxes because it often interprets a decision maker's modal choice (i.e., majority choice) over repeated trials as revealing their "true" preference. We investigate variability in choice behavior within each individual in the research lab. Within that paradigm, we look for evidence of Condorcet cycles, as well as for the famed disagreement between the Condorcet and Borda aggregation methods. We also illustrate some methodological complexities involved with likelihood ratio tests for Condorcet cycles in paired comparison data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConsensual Processes
EditorsEnrique Herrera-Viedma, Jose Luis Garcia-Lapresta, Janusz Kacprzyk, Slawomir Zadrozny, Mario Fedrizzi, Hannu Nurmi
Number of pages27
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameStudies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing
ISSN (Print)1434-9922


  • Behavioral social choice
  • Borda score
  • Condorcet paradox
  • consensus among consensus methods
  • voting paradoxes
  • weak stochastic transitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computational Mathematics


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