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Not Just for Consumers: Context Effects Are Fundamental to Decision Making


Trueblood, JS and Brown, SD and Heathcote, A and Busemeyer, JR, Not Just for Consumers: Context Effects Are Fundamental to Decision Making, Psychological Science, 24, (6) pp. 901- 908. ISSN 0956-7976 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 The Author(s)

DOI: doi:10.1177/0956797612464241


Context effects—preference changes that depend on the availability of other options—have attracted a great deal of attention among consumer researchers studying high-level decision tasks. In the experiments reported here, we showed that these effects also arise in simple perceptual-decision-making tasks. This finding casts doubt on explanations limited to consumer choice and high-level decisions, and it indicates that context effects may be amenable to a general explanation at the level of the basic decision process. We demonstrated for the first time that three important context effects from the preferential-choice literature—similarity, attraction, and compromise effects—all occurred within a single perceptual-decision task. Not only do our results challenge previous explanations for context effects proposed by consumer researchers, but they also challenge the choice rules assumed in theories of perceptual decision making.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:preferential choice, attraction effect, similarity effect, compromise effect, perceptual decision making, decision making, perception, preferences
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Decision making
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Heathcote, A (Professor Andrew Heathcote)
ID Code:98927
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:130
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2015-03-10
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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