Trade-off aversion as an explanation for the attraction effect: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study

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Abstract

This research reports on a cognitive neuroscientific examination of whether trade-off aversion explains the attraction effect. The principal study involves the neuroimaging of participants engaging in choice tasks while their cerebral activity is recorded. The authors examine whether the presence of a third (normatively irrelevant) alternative yields relatively less activation in areas of the brain associated with negative emotion than the activation during choice tasks involving two equally (un)attractive options. The results support the claim that trade-off choice sets are associated with relatively greater negative emotion. The authors discuss the implications of the research for marketing theory and methodology, as well as for managerial practice in the corporate and public policy arenas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attraction effect
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Decoy effect
  • Trade-off aversion
  • fMRI

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