Send to

Choose Destination
Psychol Sci. 2010 Sep;21(9):1231-5. doi: 10.1177/0956797610379235. Epub 2010 Aug 2.

Do decisions shape preference? Evidence from blind choice.

Author information

Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.


Psychologists have long asserted that making a choice changes a person's preferences. Recently, critics of this view have argued that choosing simply reveals preexisting preferences, and that all studies claiming that choice shapes preferences suffer from a fundamental methodological flaw. Here we address this question directly by dissociating preexisting preferences from decision making. We studied participants who rated different vacation destinations both before and after making a blind choice that could not be guided by preexisting preferences. As an additional control, we elicited ratings in a condition in which a computer made the decision for the participants. We found that preferences were altered after participants made a blind choice, but not after a computer dictated the decision. The results suggest that just as preferences form choices, choices shape preferences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center