Making Choices While Concerned (05-22-20)

Galoni, Carpenter, and Rao investigated the sorts of choices people make when they are concerned about potentially catching a contagious disease.  They determined  “that contagious disease cues [such as hearing someone cough] can also elicit fear. Across four experiments and two large empirical data analyses of the presence of contagious disease on actual consumption behavior, we find that cues of contagious disease increase both fear and disgust, and these emotions together form a unique behavioral tendency with respect to consumer behavior. Relative to either emotion alone, disgust and fear increase preference for more familiar products asymmetrically over less familiar ones.”

Chelsea Galoni, Gregory Carpenter, and Hayagreeva Rao. “Afraid and Disgusted:  Consumer Choices Under the Threat of Contagious Disease.”  Journal of Consumer Research, in press, https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucaa025