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In Search of Homo Economicus: Cognitive Noise and the Role of Emotion in Preference Consistency


  • Leonard Lee
  • On Amir
  • Dan Ariely


Understanding the role of emotion in forming preferences is critical in helping firms choose effective marketing strategies and consumers make appropriate consumption decisions. In five experiments, participants made a set of binary product choices under conditions designed to induce different degrees of emotional decision processing. The results consistently indicate that greater reliance on emotional reactions during decision making is associated with greater preference consistency and less cognitive noise. Additionally, the results of a meta-analytical study based on data from all five experiments further show that products that elicit a stronger emotional response are more likely to yield consistent preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonard Lee & On Amir & Dan Ariely, 2009. "In Search of Homo Economicus: Cognitive Noise and the Role of Emotion in Preference Consistency," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 173-187.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:doi:10.1086/597160

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