You chose A (cup of tea) from A and B (espresso);
But B from A, B and C (decaf espresso).
Is your behaviour rational?
Preference reversals typically occur due to the presence or absence of irrelevant alternatives (a decaf espresso) or the framing of the decision problem (select vs. reject).
From a decision-theoretic viewpoint preference reversals are hallmarks of decision irrationality.
Preference reversals have been well documented but not fully understood at the mechanistic level. We aspire to do so at various levels (computational, algorithmic, neural) and to provide a neurophysiologically grounded theory of human decision-making.
High-level decisions cannot be readily understood in information processing terms. This is why we study preference reversals using psychophysics and neuroimaging (MEG). These techniques allow us to trace the flow of decision-related information, from the sensory input to the motor output.
En route to understanding preference reversals we are intrigued by a series of related questions. For instance, how do people respond to risk, how do they weight information in perceptual decisions, how do they decide when to decide, how do they learn values from experience, and how does attentional selection work?