New Insights on the Benefits of Unconscious Thought

Common knowledge dictates that conscious deliberation is the best strategy for making choices. We show that choosers can also engage in unconscious thought: After people have gathered information about various choice alternatives, they leave the development of a preference for one of the alternatives to the unconscious. In lay terms, people can “sleep on it”. Our research shows that for complex decisions, unconscious thought leads to better choices than conscious thought. Moreover, we show that unconscious thought is an active, goal-directed process, and we demonstrate that especially people with experience in a certain domain benefit from unconscious thought.


Ap Dijksterhuis (2007) ,"New Insights on the Benefits of Unconscious Thought", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 692-696.


Ap Dijksterhuis, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


R9. The Asymmetric Effects Of Attitude Toward The Brand (Symbolic Vs. Functional) Upon Recommendation System (Artificial Intelligence Vs. Human)

Kiwan Park, Seoul National University, USA
Yaeri Kim, Seoul National University, USA
Seojin Stacey Lee, Seoul National University, USA

Read More


Do You Trust the System? Interaction Effect between Perceived Economic Mobility and Socioeconomic Status on Fair Market Ideology and Consumer Responses

Chun-Ming Yang, Ming Chuan University, Taiwan
Chia-Chi Chang, National Chiao Tung University

Read More


F3. The Dark Side of Happy Brands: A Case Study of Newport Cigarette Advertising

Timothy Dewhirst, University of Guelph, Canada
Wonkyong Beth Lee, Western University, 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.