Constructing preference from experience: The endowment effect reflected in external information search

Pachur, Thorsten and Scheibehenne, Benjamin. (2012) Constructing preference from experience: The endowment effect reflected in external information search. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory and cognition, Vol. 3. pp. 1108-1116.

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People often attach a higher value to an object when they own it (i.e., as seller) compared with when they do not own it (i.e., as buyer)—a phenomenon known as the endowment effect. According to recentcognitive process accounts of the endowment effect, the effect is due to differences between sellers and buyers in information search. Whereas previous investigations have focused on search order and internalsearch processes (i.e., in memory), we used a sampling paradigm to examine differences in search termination in external search. We asked participants to indicate selling and buying prices for monetarylotteries in a within-subject design. In an experience condition, participants had to learn about the possible outcomes and probabilities of the lotteries by experiential sampling. As hypothesized, sellers tended to terminate search after sampling high outcomes, whereas buyers tended to terminate search after sampling low outcomes. These differences in stopping behavior translated into samples of the lotteries that were differentially distorted for sellers and buyers; the amount of the distortion was predictive of the resulting size of the endowment effect. In addition, for sellers search was more extended when high outcomes were rare compared with when low outcomes were rare. Our results add to the increasing evidence that the endowment effect is due, in part, to differences in predecisional information search.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Cognitive and Decision Sciences (Hertwig)
UniBasel Contributors:Pachur, Thorsten and Scheibehenne, Benjamin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Psychological Association
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:10 Oct 2017 15:23
Deposited On:11 Oct 2012 15:26

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