Path dependent preferences: The role of early experience and biased search in preference development

Journal Article (Journal Article)

What is the role of early experiences in shaping preferences? What are the mechanisms by which such early encounters influence the way preferences are formed? In this research, we examine the impact of the entry position and favorability of initial (and ongoing) experiences on preference development. We predict that the starting point will heavily influence which particular region people select from initially, and favorableness of early experiences and myopic search will both limit their search to that particular region. Across four studies, we find that when the initial experiences are favorable, subjects engage in lower levels of search, experience only a narrow breadth of possible alternatives, demonstrate less ongoing experimentation, and have a reduction in the amount of preference development. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hoeffler, S; Ariely, D; West, P

Published Date

  • November 1, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 101 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 215 - 229

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0749-5978

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.obhdp.2006.04.002

Citation Source

  • Scopus