Publications of George Avrunin

Utility Theory and Conflict

Clyde H. Coombs and George S. Avrunin. The Structure of Conflict. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ, 1988.

Clyde H. Coombs and George S. Avrunin. A theorem on single-peaked preference functions in one dimension. J. Math. Psych., 16:261–266, 1977. [ DOI ]

Clyde H. Coombs and George S. Avrunin. Single-peaked functions and the theory of preference. Psych. Rev., 84:216–230, 1977. Reprinted in: E. D. Lantermann and H. Feger, eds., Similarity and Choice, Hans Huber Publishers, Bern (1980), pp. 182–207. [ DOI ]

Dependent variables such as preference, hedonic tone, aesthetic appreciation, stimulus generalization, degree of interest or attention, exploratory behavior, developmental stages, and intensity of attitudes are frequently observed to be single-peaked functions of the independent variables. The problem of deriving, from more elementary underlying processes, a preference function that rises monotonically to a peak and then falls monotonically is discussed. Psychological principles are proposed for the perception and processing of good and bad attributes such as pleasure and pain and an elimination principle that affects the options that are available. It is shown that single-peakedness is inevitable if there is only 1 component, is quite likely if there are 2, and must be contrived if there are 3 or more components. Results are generalized for approach-avoidance, approach-approach, and avoidance-avoidance conflict in individuals and bear upon the resolution of social choice problems of a particular class.

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