Constructing Preferences from Memory

The Construction of Preference, Lichtenstein, S. & Slovic, P., (eds.), pp. 397-410, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2006

26 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2008 Last revised: 31 Aug 2011

Elke U. Weber

Columbia Business School - Management & Psychology

Eric J. Johnson

Columbia Business School - Marketing

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

Our memories define who we are and what we do. Aside from a few preferences hardwired by evolution, they also define what we like and how we choose. In this chapter, we argue that our view of preference changes if conceptualized explicitly as the product of memory representations and memory processes. We draw on insights about the functions and operations of memory provided by cognitive psychology and social cognition to show that memory plays a crucial role in preference and choice. We examine memory processes in preference and choice at a more "micro" and process-oriented level than previous investigations into the role of memory processes, but at a level that is cognitive and functional, rather than computational. We suggest that a consideration of properties of memory representation and retrieval may provide a unifying explanatory framework for some seemingly disparate preference phenomena.

Suggested Citation

Weber, Elke U. and Johnson, Eric J., Constructing Preferences from Memory (2006). The Construction of Preference, Lichtenstein, S. & Slovic, P., (eds.), pp. 397-410, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1301075 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1301075

Elke U. Weber (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Management & Psychology ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Eric J. Johnson

Columbia Business School - Marketing ( email )

New York, NY 10027
United States

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