Do decisions shape preference?

Psychologists have long asserted that making a choice changes a person’s preferences. Recently, critics of this view have argued that choosing simply reveals preexisting preferences, and that all studies claiming that choice shapes preferences suffer from a fundamental methodological flaw. Here we address this question directly by dissociating preexisting preferences from decision making. We studied participants who rated different vacation destinations both before and after making a blind choice that could not be guided by preexisting preferences. As an additional control, we elicited ratings in a condition in which a computer made the decision for the participants. We found that preferences were altered after participants made a blind choice, but not after a computer dictated the decision. The results suggest that just as preferences form choices, choices shape preferences.

Source: “Do decisions shape preference?: evidence from blind choice.” from Psychol Sci. 2010 Sep;21(9):1231-5. Epub 2010 Aug 2.

For more on the subject check out The Paradox of Choice and How We Decide.

Related posts:

Feeling tired and burned out? Did you make a lot of decisions today?

Does Delaying Decisions Lead to Better Outcomes?

This is how the order things are presented in affects our decisions.

Here‘s the answer to whether “sleeping on it” really helps our decision-making.

Does assortment size affect your choice?

What’s the number one future job choice among kindergarteners?

Can scents affect who you like?

Read this if you are kind, strong willed, but can be self-critical

You should follow me on Twitter here. You can also subscribe to the blog’s feed or follow on Facebook. If you want to help support the blog, please do your Amazon shopping via this link. (It won’t cost you anything extra.) Here are the site’s most popular posts of all time.


Tags:
Posted In:
Post Details