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
Date Written: February 25, 2012
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
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