Research Papers

Research Funded by the Center

Turning-on Dimensional Prominence in Decision Making: Experiments and a Model

 

Ayala Arad and Amnon Maltz 

Management Science, forthcoming.

Image by Egor Myznik

Aging impairs inhibitory control over incidental cues: A construal level perspective

 

Liat Hadar, Yaacov Trope and Boaz M. Ben-David

Psychological Science, forthcoming.

Abstract

Could introducing a tiny interest rate on positive balances of checking accounts affect invest- ment decisions? We suggest, counterintuitively, that it might decrease allocations to checking accounts and increase riskless investments with higher returns. This violation of monotonicity is a potential outcome of a novel behavioral phenomenon that we formalize and investigate experimentally. It posits that even a small interest rate highlights or turns-on the safe gains dimension, bumping up its decision weight while shrouding other considerations, such as liquid- ity. Consequently, choices may shift from the most liquid option, the checking account, to safe investments with superior returns. Our exploration of this phenomenon covers three different choice environments: investment decisions, social preferences and choice under uncertainty.

Abstract

 Age-related changes in decision making have been attributed to deterioration of cognitive skills, such as learning and memory. Based on past research showing age-related decreased ability to inhibit irrelevant information, we hypothesize that these changes occur, in part, due to older adults’ tendency to give more weight to low-level, subordinate, and goal-irrelevant information, compared with young adults. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that young adults are willing to pay more for a product (Study 1, N = 200) and are more satisfied with an experience (Study 2, N = 399) superior on end-attributes than on means-attributes. Young adults are also more satisfied with a goal-relevant than with a goal-irrelevant product (Study 3, N = 201; Study 4, N = 200, pre-registered). Importantly, these effects attenuate with age. Implications for research on construal level and aging and for policymakers are discussed.

Man Shopping for Groceries

Consumer Behavior in the Corona era: What do consumers buy, how much, and what are they persuaded by?

 

Liat Hadar, 

Coller School of Management, Tel Aviv University

Innovations in Management, forthcoming.

 

Shopping in Mall

Abstract

Have you been thinking about your death more than usual since the start of the Coronavirus crisis? Despite our knowledge of our own mortality, the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic has made this knowledge unusually relevant and available in our minds. Studies indicate that thinking about death changes behavioral patterns. This review paper presents two major trends that emerge following thoughts of death - reliance on cultural worldviews and the need to strengthen self-esteem, and the tendency to prioritize emotionally meaningful goals over other goals. In turn, these trends have been found to influence consumption amounts, the tendency to purchase high-status and luxury products, and the tendency to attend to, to recall, and to be persuaded by marketing messages that emphasize emotional goals over other goals. The paper summarizes findings from studies that have examined the implications of these processes for consumer behavior. Based on the results of these studies, the article suggests practical ways in which companies and organizations should address consumers during the crisis.