When Dominated Options Are Chosen: the Interplay of Affect and Cognition in Repeated Risky Choice

Rebecca Ratner , University of Maryland, USA
Kenneth Herbst , Wake Forest University, USA
Nathan Novemsky , Yale University, USA
In a series of studies, we examine when and why a bad outcome with a dominant option in a risky choice can lead people to switch to a dominated option. Previous research (Ratner and Herbst 2005) has identified regret as a key driver of switching in such situations. In the present research, we examine why and when people experience regret when the better of two risky options fails them, despite their continued recognition of dominance. Our results suggest that individuals presume the risk not chosen would turn out well and this generates a belief that the experienced failure was avoidable.
[ to cite ]:
Rebecca Ratner , Kenneth Herbst , and Nathan Novemsky (2009) ,"When Dominated Options Are Chosen: the Interplay of Affect and Cognition in Repeated Risky Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 172-176.