Guilt-Free Indulgence At the Cost of Certainty

M. Yavuz Acikalin, Stanford University, USA
Uzma Khan, University of Miami, USA
Baba Shiv, Stanford University, USA
Extant research suggests that consumers are uncertainty-averse. In contrast, we show that instead of avoiding uncertainty, consumers choose a probabilistic mixture of multiple options over a single certain option despite not being indifferent between the options. We further show that consumers choose uncertain options as a guilt reduction mechanism.
[ to cite ]:
M. Yavuz Acikalin, Uzma Khan, and Baba Shiv (2017) ,"Guilt-Free Indulgence At the Cost of Certainty", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 45, eds. Ayelet Gneezy, Vladas Griskevicius, and Patti Williams, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.