Loss Aversion, Intellectual Inertia, and a Call for a More Contrarian Science: A Reply to Simonson & Kivetz and Higgins & Liberman

Gal, David and Derek D. Rucker, "Loss Aversion, Intellectual Inertia, and a Call for a More Contrarian Science: A Reply to Simonson & Kivetz and Higgins & Liberman," Journal of Consumer Psychology, Forthcoming

18 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2018 Last revised: 5 Mar 2018

Date Written: February 18, 2018

Abstract

Higgins and Liberman (2018) and Simonson and Kivetz (2018) offer scholarly and stimulating perspectives on loss aversion and the implications for the sociology of science of its acceptance as a virtual law of nature. In our view, Higgins and Liberman (2018) largely complement our conclusion that the empirical evidence does not support loss aversion. Moreover, in alignment with our call for a contextualized perspective, they provide an excellent discourse on how a more nuanced view of reference points and consumers’ regulatory focus enriches our understanding of the psychological impact of losses and gains. Simonson and Kivetz (2018) approached our perspective with skepticism, and, while they retain some skepticism, they express agreement on the larger point that loss aversion has been accepted too uncritically. Both commentaries point to a need for a critical reevaluation of prevailing paradigms. Here, we build on these perspectives, as well as our experience working on the topic of loss aversion, to call for structural changes to facilitate scholarly debate on science’s status quo.

Keywords: loss aversion, inertia, contrarian science

JEL Classification: A10, M30, D01, D03, D80, G02

Suggested Citation

Gal, David and Rucker, Derek, Loss Aversion, Intellectual Inertia, and a Call for a More Contrarian Science: A Reply to Simonson & Kivetz and Higgins & Liberman (February 18, 2018). Gal, David and Derek D. Rucker, "Loss Aversion, Intellectual Inertia, and a Call for a More Contrarian Science: A Reply to Simonson & Kivetz and Higgins & Liberman," Journal of Consumer Psychology, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3127716

David Gal (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1200 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

Derek Rucker

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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