Guilt-Free Indulgence At the Cost of Certainty

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.


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, Pages: 42-46.


M. Yavuz Acikalin, Stanford University, USA
Uzma Khan, University of Miami, USA
Baba Shiv, Stanford University, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 45 | 2017

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


R1. How Consumers Deal With Brand Failure-An Individual Differences Approach

Melika Kordrostami, California State University-San Bernardino
Elika Kordrostami, Rowan University

Read More


K11. Effects of Emotional vs. Rational Thinking on Consumer Responses to Verbal Precision

Ann Kronrod, University of Massachusetts, USA
Guang-Xin Xie, University of Massachusetts Boston
Shai Danziger, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Read More


Algorithm Attraction versus Aversion: The Role of the Perceived Self-Efficacy of the Decision Maker

Gizem Yalcin, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Anne-Kathrin Klesse, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Darren Dahl, University of British Columbia, Canada

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.