Stigma: Experiments Examining the Relative Roles of Reason and Emotion in Economic Decision

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 92 (August 2013), 202-213

25 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2016

See all articles by William D. Schulze

William D. Schulze

Cornell University - Department of Economics

Annemie Maertens

University of Sussex

Brian Wansink

Retired

Date Written: February 25, 2012

Abstract

Psychologists have described the working of the human brain as a combination of two systems. One system is intuitive and automatic and the other is reflective and rational. In this paper, we build on such a dual process model as developed by Loewenstein and O’Donoghue, to examine stigma in a laboratory setting. In this experiment, we elicited the willingness-to-pay for a (healthy and kosher) dogfood chicken sandwich, an item which is arguably stigmatized by its targeted use by dogs instead of humans, and fat-free ice cream. We find evidence of a dual process decision making process in which the absence of cognitive load allows the participants to deliberate over the health benefits of either products; and an emotional component in which the positive emotion of surprise can partially offset the negative emotion of disgust.

Keywords: Stigma, cognitive load, dogfood, decision making process, spoiled identity, dual process model, consumer behavior

Suggested Citation

Schulze, William D. and Maertens, Annemie and Wansink, Brian, Stigma: Experiments Examining the Relative Roles of Reason and Emotion in Economic Decision (February 25, 2012). Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 92 (August 2013), 202-213, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2711298

William D. Schulze

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States
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Annemie Maertens

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

Brian Wansink (Contact Author)

Retired ( email )

607-319-0123 (Phone)

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