Disgust Promotes Disposal: Souring the Status Quo
AbstractHumans naturally dispose of objects that disgust them. Is this phenomenon so deeply embedded that even incidental disgust â€“ i.e., where the source of disgust is unrelated to a possessed object â€“ triggers disposal? Two experiments were designed to answer this question. Two film clips served as disgust and neutral primes; the objects were routine commodities (boxes of office supplies). Results revealed that the incidental disgust condition powerfully increased the frequency with which decision makers traded away a commodity they owned for a new commodity (more than doubling the probability in each condition), thereby countering otherwise robust status quo bias (Samuelson & Zeckhauser, 1988). Decision makers were unaware of disgustâ€™s impact. Even when warned to correct for it, they failed to do so. These studies presented real choices with tangible rewards. Their findings thus have implications not only for theories of affect and choice, but also for practical improvements in everyday decisions.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard Kennedy School of Government in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4449096.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
Other versions of this item:
- Han, Seunghee & Lerner, Jennifer S. & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2010. "Disgust Promotes Disposal: Souring the Status Quo," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp10-021, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Knetsch, Jack L & Sinden, J A, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-21, August.
- Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
- Knetsch, Jack L, 1989. "The Endowment Effect and Evidence of Nonreversible Indifference Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1277-84, December.
- Hartman, Raymond S & Doane, Michael J & Woo, Chi-Keung, 1991. "Consumer Rationality and the Status Quo," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 141-62, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ben Steinberg).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.