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Published July 2017 | public
Journal Article

Response time and utility


Response time is the time an agent needs to make a decision. One fundamental finding in psychology and neuroscience is that, in a binary choice, there is a monotonic relationship between the response time and the difference between the utilities of the two options. We consider situations in which utilities are not observed, but rather inferred from revealed preferences: meaning they are inferred from subjects' choices. Given data on subjects' choices, and the time to make those choices, we give conditions on the data that characterize the property that response time is a monotonic function of utility differences.

Additional Information

© 2017 Elsevier B.V. We appreciate Antonio Rangel, Ian Krajbich, and John Clithero for valuable discussion. We also appreciate Yimeng Li for his careful proof reading of the paper, and helpful suggestions. This research is supported by Grant SES1558757 from the National Science Foundation.

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