Non-Conscious Processing and Choice in Context

Kelly Goldsmith, Northwestern University, USA
Ap Dijksterhuis, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Ravi Dhar, Yale Univeristy, USA
Prior research has demonstrated that non-conscious processing can improve one’s decisions (as compared to conscious elaboration) (Dijksterhuis et al. 2006). This research tests how one’s style of processing (non-conscious vs. conscious) affects one’s propensity to demonstrate a classic context effect in choice: the compromise effect (Simonson 1989). We demonstrate that participants who engaged in non-conscious processing prior to choice were less likely to demonstrate the compromise effect than participants who consciously elaborated on their options. Further we show that these results cannot be explained by mere distraction prior to choice.
[ to cite ]:
Kelly Goldsmith, Ap Dijksterhuis, and Ravi Dhar (2010) ,"Non-Conscious Processing and Choice in Context", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 153-156 .