The Synthesis of Preference: Bridging Behavioral Decision Research and Marketing Science
Journal of Consumer Psychology, 18 (2008) 179–186
8 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2014
Date Written: July 2, 2008
Scientific inquiry often advances in triadic waves of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. We concur with Simonson [Simonson, I., (2008). Will I Like a "Medium" Pillow: Another Look at Constructed and Inherent Preferences. Journal of Consumer Psychology, this issue.] that BDT's antithesis of preference construction, positioned against the normative utility thesis, may have swung the pendulum too far. Contrary to BDT's focus on constructed preference, inherent preferences — or what may be considered dispositions — are ubiquitous and critical determinants of choice. Thus, a synthesis in decision research is proposed, one in which researchers better bridge inherent and constructed preferences, or more broadly, marketing science and BDT. Such a synthesis, although uncertain and difficult, has the potential to explain the origins of inherent preferences, their slow evolution over time, and their interaction with constructed preferences. In this commentary, we discuss the synthesis between constructed and inherent preferences and how such a synthesis could be conceptualized and modeled. We conclude by suggesting some ways in which behavioral economics might evolve.
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