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Does choice change preference?


Alós-Ferrer, Carlos; Granic, Georg (2018). Does choice change preference? SSRN 3229632, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Do choices feed back into and alter preferences? Widespread evidence arising in psychology and neuroscience shows that preferences change in response to own choices, a phenomenon typically explained through cognitive dissonance. The evidence, however, presents serious shortcomings casting doubts on its relevance for economics. We present two experiments addressing these shortcomings. First, participants made standard decisions under risk rather than facing unfamiliar alternatives. Second, all choices were incentivized. Third, our novel experimental design avoids recently-exposed problems of experiments in psychology. The results show unsystematic effects which differ from and challenge conventional wisdom outside economics.

Abstract

Do choices feed back into and alter preferences? Widespread evidence arising in psychology and neuroscience shows that preferences change in response to own choices, a phenomenon typically explained through cognitive dissonance. The evidence, however, presents serious shortcomings casting doubts on its relevance for economics. We present two experiments addressing these shortcomings. First, participants made standard decisions under risk rather than facing unfamiliar alternatives. Second, all choices were incentivized. Third, our novel experimental design avoids recently-exposed problems of experiments in psychology. The results show unsystematic effects which differ from and challenge conventional wisdom outside economics.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Preference change, stability of preferences, construction of preference
Language:English
Date:August 2018
Deposited On:30 Jan 2019 12:42
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:18
Series Name:SSRN
Number of Pages:10
ISSN:1556-5068
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3229632
Official URL:https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3229632

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