IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The generality of the emotion effect on magnitude sensitivity


  • Gong, Min
  • Baron, Jonathan


Three studies asked whether reported emotional response interfere with magnitude sensitivity, defined as a subjective evaluation difference between a high magnitude outcome and a low one. Previous research has reported that emotion reduces magnitude sensitivity under separate evaluation in a gain domain (Hsee & Rottenstreich, 2004), a negative effect. We test the generality of this emotion effect in gain and loss domains, and under separate or joint evaluation mode, using a variety of stimuli. We found an opposite, positive, effect in Experiment 1 (in willingness to pay to save species or prevent health impairments) and Experiment 3 (in willingness to pay to prevent bad outcomes in news stories) but replicated the original negative effect in Experiment 2 (compensation for losses). Further research is needed to disentangle possible causes of these effects and to explore how these findings may be applied to measurement of values for non-market goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Gong, Min & Baron, Jonathan, 2011. "The generality of the emotion effect on magnitude sensitivity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 17-24, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:1:p:17-24

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boyle Kevin J. & Desvousges William H. & Johnson F. Reed & Dunford Richard W. & Hudson Sara P., 1994. "An Investigation of Part-Whole Biases in Contingent-Valuation Studies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 64-83, July.
    2. Jack L. Knetsch & J. A. Sinden, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-521.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Ritov, Ilana & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Economic Preferences or Attitude Expressions?: An Analysis of Dollar Responses to Public Issues," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 203-235, December.
    4. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
    5. James K. Hammitt & Kevin Haninger, 2007. "Willingness to Pay for Food Safety: Sensitivity to Duration and Severity of Illness," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1170-1175.
    6. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Stephan Dickert & Janet Kleber & Ellen Peters & Paul Slovic, 2011. "Numeracy as a precursor to pro-social behavior: The impact of numeracy and presentation format on the cognitive mechanisms underlying donation decisions," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(7), pages 638-650, October.
    2. Chen, Xuqi & Gao, Zhifeng, 2016. "The Effects of Emotion on Consumers’ Willingness-to-Pay (WTP) for Eco-labeled Fresh Produce," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235996, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Emre Soyer & Robin M. Hogarth, 2011. "The size and distribution of donations: Effects of number of recipients," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(7), pages 616-628, October.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:1:p:17-24. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.