Journal article

Endogenous formation of preferences: Choices systematically change willingness-to-pay for goods

K Voigt, C Murawski, S Bode

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition | American Psychological Association | Published : 2017


Standard decision theory assumes that choices result from stable preferences. This position has been challenged by claims that the act of choosing between goods may alter preferences. To test this claim, we investigated in three experiments whether choices between equally valued snack food items can systematically shape preferences. We directly assessed changes in participants’ willingness-to-pay for these items, some of which could be bought at an auction after the experiment, while others could not. We found that chosen items were valued higher, and nonchosen items were valued lower; yet this postdecisional refinement of preferences was only observed for choices and valuations that were re..

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