Wanting, liking, and preference construction.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

According to theories on preference construction, multiple preferences result from multiple contexts (e.g., loss vs. gain frames). This implies that people can have different representations of a preference in different contexts. Drawing on Berridge's (1999) distinction between unconscious liking and wanting, we hypothesize that people may have multiple representations of a preference toward an object even within a single context. Specifically, we propose that people can have different representations of an object's motivational value, or incentive value, versus its emotional value, or likability, even when the object is placed in the same context. Study 1 establishes a divergence between incentive value and likability of faces using behavioral measures. Studies 2A and 2B, using self-report measures, provide support for our main hypothesis that people are perfectly aware of these distinct representations and are able to access them concurrently at will. We also discuss implications of our findings for the truism that people seek pleasure and for expectancy-value theories.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dai, X; Brendl, CM; Ariely, D

Published Date

  • June 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 324 - 334

PubMed ID

  • 20515222

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1931-1516

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1528-3542

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/a0017987


  • eng