The Value Heuristic

We show that people heuristically infer the relative frequency, Quantity, and Duration of stimuli from the relative value of these stimuli. They judge what is more valuable as relatively scarcer. In the first four studies, we demonstrate the operation of this value heuristic and the resulting judgmental bias in frequency estimates of stimuli with either inherent or experimentally induced, monetary value. Another three studies extend the value heuristic to estimation of quantity and duration. We discuss implications of the heuristic for people’s choice behavior in a variety of domains and for their economic intuitions and understanding of market mechanisms.


Xianchi Dai, Klaus Wertenbroch, and C. Miguel Brendl (2008) ,"The Value Heuristic", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 233-236.


Xianchi Dai, INSEAD, France
Klaus Wertenbroch, INSEAD, France
C. Miguel Brendl, Northwestern University


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008

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