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Does choice change preferences? An incentivized test of the mere choice effect - Data set

posted on 2022-08-25, 08:01 authored by Carlos Alós-Ferrer, Georg GranicGeorg Granic

Data set, codebook, and pre-registered report for article

 Alós-Ferrer, Carlos, and Georg D. Granic (forthcoming).
"Does Choice Change Preferences? An Incentivized Test of the Mere Choice Effect", Experimental Economics


Widespread evidence from psychology and neuroscience documents that previous choices unconditionally increase the later desirability of chosen objects, even if those choices were uninformative. This is problematic for economists who use choice data to estimate latent preferences, demand functions, and social welfare. The

evidence on this mere choice efect, however, exhibits serious shortcomings which prevent evaluating its possible relevance for economics. In this paper, we present

a novel, parsimonious experimental design to test for the economic validity of the mere choice efect addressing these shortcomings. Our design uses well-defned,

monetary lotteries, all decisions are incentivized, and we efectively randomize participants’ initial choices without relying on deception. Results from a large, preregistered online experiment fnd no support for the mere choice efect. Our results challenge conventional wisdom outside economics. The mere choice efect does not seem to be a concern for economics, at least in the domain of decision making under risk.


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