Carey K Morewedge

Carey K Morewedge
Boston University | BU · School of Management

PhD, Social Psychology

About

87
Publications
73,318
Reads
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5,108
Citations
Citations since 2017
29 Research Items
3355 Citations
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Introduction
I study cognitive and affective processes that lead to suboptimal judgment and decision making, and how to harness those processes to improve it. This research is primarily focused on two substantive areas, hedonic judgment and the attribution of intentions.
Additional affiliations
July 2014 - present
Boston University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
July 2011 - present
Carnegie Mellon University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2007 - June 2011
Carnegie Mellon University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
August 2000 - May 2006
Harvard University
Field of study
  • Social Psychology
August 1996 - May 2000
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (87)
Article
Full-text available
The consumption of a food typically leads to a decrease in its subsequent intake through habituation—a decrease in one’s responsiveness to the food and motivation to obtain it. We demonstrated that habituation to a food item can occur even when its consumption is merely imagined. Five experiments showed that people who repeatedly imagined eating a...
Article
Full-text available
The endowment effect is the tendency for people who own a good to value it more than people who do not. Its economic impact is consequential. It creates market inefficiencies and irregularities in valuation such as differences between buyers and sellers, reluctance to trade, and mere ownership effects. Traditionally, the endowment effect has been a...
Article
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Digital goods are, in many cases, substantive innovations relative to their physical counterparts. Yet, in five experiments, people ascribed less value to digital than to physical versions of the same good. Research participants paid more for, were willing to pay more for, and were more likely to purchase physical goods than equivalent digital good...
Article
Full-text available
We examined whether people reduce the impact of negative outcomes through emotional hedging—betting against the occurrence of desired outcomes. We found substantial reluctance to bet against the success of preferred U.S. presidential candidates and Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) bask...
Article
Full-text available
From failures of intelligence analysis to misguided beliefs about vaccinations, biased judgment and decision making contributes to problems in policy, business, medicine, law, education, and private life. Early attempts to reduce decision biases with training met with little success, leading scientists and policy makers to focus on debiasing by usi...
Article
Full-text available
People sometimes exhibit a costly preference for humans relative to algorithms, which is often defined as a domain-general algorithm aversion. I propose it is instead driven by biased evaluations of the self and other humans, which occurs more narrowly in domains where identity is threatened and when evaluative criteria are ambiguous.
Article
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Funeral rituals perform important social functions for families and communities, but little is known about the motives of people planning funerals. Using mixed methods, we examine funeral planning as end‐of‐life relational spending. We identify how relational motives drive and manifest in funeral planning, even when the primary recipient of goods a...
Article
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We introduce a theoretical framework distinguishing between anchoring effects, anchoring bias, and judgmental noise: Anchoring effects require anchoring bias, but noise modulates their size. We test it by manipulating stimulus magnitudes. As magnitudes increase, psychophysical noise due to scalar variability widens the perceived range of plausible...
Article
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Student loans defer the cost of college until after graduation, allowing many students access to higher lifetime earnings and colleges and universities they otherwise could not afford. Even with student loans, however, we find students psychologically realize the financial costs of a college education long before their loan repayments begin. We the...
Article
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People exhibit a circadian rhythm in the variety of foods they eat. Many people happily eat the same foods for breakfast day after day, yet seek more variety in the foods they eat for lunch and dinner. We identify psychological goals as a driver of this diurnal pattern of variety seeking, complementing other biological and cultural drivers. People...
Article
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Medical artificial intelligence is cost-effective and scalable and often outperforms human providers, yet people are reluctant to use it. We show that resistance to the utilization of medical artificial intelligence is driven by both the subjective difficulty of understanding algorithms (the perception that they are a ‘black box’) and by an illusor...
Article
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Object ownership changes how people perceive objects and self through psychological ownership––the feeling that a thing is MINE. Psychological ownership usually tracks legal ownership, but the two can and do diverge. In this integrative review, I propose a dual-process model of psychological ownership. Antecedents of psychological ownership form se...
Article
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Technological innovations are creating new products, services, and markets that satisfy enduring consumer needs. These technological innovations create value for consumers and firms in many ways, but they also disrupt psychological ownership––the feeling that a thing is MINE. The authors describe two key dimensions of this technology-driven evoluti...
Article
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Observational learning can debias judgment and decision making. One-shot observational learning-based training interventions (akin to “hot seating”) can produce reductions in cognitive biases in the laboratory (i.e., anchoring, representativeness, and social projection), and successfully teach a decision rule that increases advice taking in a weigh...
Article
People exploit flexibility in mental accounting to relax psychological constraints on spending. Four studies demonstrate this in the context of moral behavior. The first study replicates prior findings that people donate more money to charity when they earned it through unethical versus ethical means. However, when the unethically-earned money is f...
Article
Full-text available
People exploit flexibility in mental accounting to relax psychological constraints on spending. Four studies demonstrate this in the context of moral behavior. The first study replicates prior findings that people donate more money to charity when they earned it through unethical versus ethical means. However, when the unethically-earned money is f...
Preprint
Full-text available
We examine which social comparisons most affect happiness with pay that is unequally distributed (e.g., salaries and bonuses). We find that ensemble representation–attention to statistical properties of distributions such as their range and mean––makes the proximal extreme (i.e., the maximum or minimum) and distribution mean salient social comparis...
Chapter
Social comparisons are not only ubiquitous and influential but also represent a naturally occurring example of more general evaluative judgment. As such, they can be examined using the general types of mental processes that are used in the judgment and decision-making literature. While the direction of social comparison processes can be easily char...
Article
Full-text available
In Longoni et al. (2019), we examine how algorithm aversion influences utilization of healthcare delivered by human and artificial intelligence providers. Pezzo and Beckstead’s (2020) commentary asks whether resistance to medical AI takes the form of a noncompensatory decision strategy, in which a single attribute determines provider choice, or whe...
Article
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The primary objection to debiasing training interventions is a lack of evidence that they transfer to improve decision making in field settings, where reminders of bias are absent. We gave graduate students in three professional programs (N = 290) a one-shot training intervention that reduces confirmation bias in laboratory experiments. Natural var...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social comparisons are not only ubiquitous and influential, but also represent a naturally occurring example of more general evaluative judgment. As such, they can be examined using the general types of mental processes that are used in the judgment and decision- making literature. While the direction of social comparison processes can be easily ch...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing healthcare, but little is known about consumer receptivity toward AI in medicine. Consumers are reluctant to utilize healthcare provided by AI in real and hypothetical choices, separate and joint evaluations. Consumers are less likely to utilize healthcare (study 1), exhibit lower reservation prices f...
Article
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We find small probabilistic price promotions effectively stimulate demand, even more so than comparable fixed price promotions (e.g., “1% chance it’s free” versus “1% off,” respectively), because they more effectively reduce the pain of paying. In three field experiments at a grocer, we exogenously and endogenously manipulated the salience of pain...
Article
Full-text available
A hedonic contrast effect occurs when comparing a stimulus to its alternatives makes it better or worse. We find that counterfactual comparisons induce larger hedonic contrast effects when they are also social comparisons. Hedonic contrast effects influenced happiness with a food or wage more when another person received its counterfactual alternat...
Chapter
Intuitions, attitudes, images, mind- wandering, dreams, and religious messages are just a few of the many kinds of uncontrolled thoughts that intrude on consciousness spontaneously without a clear reason. Logic suggests that people might thus interpret spontaneous thoughts as meaningless and be uninfluenced by them. By contrast, our survey of this...
Article
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Across consequential attributions of attitudes, ability, emotions, and morality, people make correspondent inferences. People infer stable personality characteristics from others’ behavior, even when that behavior is caused by situational factors. We examined the structure of correspondent inferences and report the development and validation of an...
Article
Affective forecasts are used to anticipate the hedonic impact of future events and decide which events to pursue or avoid. We propose that because affective forecasters are more sensitive to outcome specifications of events than experiencers, the outcome specification values of an event, such as its duration, magnitude, probability, and psychologic...
Article
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In the current study, a serious game was developed to address a training challenge: teaching players to recognize and mitigate their cognitive biases. Cognitive biases, which are human tendencies to commit systematic errors in thinking that lead to irrational judgments, are deeply ingrained and difficult to alter. This paper describes the theory-ba...
Article
In this article, we report on a serious game development approach, characterized by combining theory-based design with an iterative development strategy guided by experimental test and evaluation. We describe two serious games that teach the mitigation of cognitive biases (human tendencies to commit systematic errors in thinking that lead to irrati...
Article
Plural societies require individuals to forecast how others—both in-group and out-group members—will respond to gains and setbacks. Typically, correcting affective forecasts to include more relevant information improves their accuracy by reducing their extremity. In contrast, we found that providing affective forecasters with social-category inform...
Article
People spend a considerable amount of their time mentally simulating experiences other than the one in which they are presently engaged, as a means of distraction, coping, or preparation for the future. In this integrative review, we examine four (non-exhaustive) cases in which mentally simulating an experience serves a different function, as a sub...
Article
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Negotiations involve gaps in perceived value. When we are sellers, we feel that buyers offer too little. When we are buyers, we feel that sellers demand too much. This is true whether we're actually exchanging goods or services for money, or whether we're simply trying to make a fair trade.
Article
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When people cannot get what they want, they often satisfy their desire by consuming a substitute. Substitutes can originate from within the taxonomic category of the desired stimulus (i.e., within-category substitutes) or from a different taxonomic category that serves the same basic goal (i.e., cross-category substitutes). Both a store-brand choco...
Article
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Eating a food reduces the desire to eat more of that food. General-process theories of motivation posit that eating a food also increases the motivation to eat other foods-an effect known as cross-stimulus sensitization. The authors propose that eating a food selectively sensitizes consumers to its complements rather than to all foods. Eating a foo...
Chapter
Modern conceptions of utility are rooted in the system that Jeremy Bentham proposed to determine which actions and laws mostly benefit people. This chapter reviews the history of the concept from Bentham to the present, distinctions between different kinds of utility and judgments, how utility is measured, and the contextual factors that influence...
Article
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Researchers in recent years have exhaustively catalogued and chronicled the biases that affect our decisions. We all know the havoc that biased decisions can wreak. From misguided beliefs about the side effects of vaccinating our children, to failures in analysis by our intelligence community, biases in decision making contribute to problems in bus...
Research
Full-text available
Modern conceptions of utility are rooted in the system that Jeremy Bentham proposed to determine which actions and laws most benefit the most people. Bentham believed that the value of every action could be quantified in terms of its utility—the intensity of pleasure or pain that it caused, as well as the duration of its influence, its uncertainty,...
Article
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People exhibit a bias blind spot: they are less likely to detect bias in themselves than in others. We report the development and validation of an instrument to measure individual differences in the propensity to exhibit the bias blind spot that is unidimensional, internally consistent, has high test-retest reliability, and is discriminated from me...
Article
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People often resort to superstitious behavior to facilitate goal achievement. We examined whether the specific type of achievement goal pursued influences the propensity to engage in superstitious behavior. Across six studies, we found that performance goals were more likely than learning goals to elicit superstitious behavior. Participants were mo...
Chapter
Full-text available
Consumer prediction encompasses the cognitive, affective, and motivational psychological processes by which consumers anticipate (and subsequently produce) the future. Prediction is a pervasive factor in consumer decision making, from everyday decisions such as which lunch one should purchase to major decisions about how much one will need to save...
Article
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Defaults effects can be created by social contexts. The observed choices of others can become social defaults, increasing their choice share. Social default effects are a novel form of social influence not due to normative or informational influence: participants were more likely to mimic observed choices when choosing in private than in public (ex...
Article
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The results of three experiments reveal that memory for end enjoyment, rather than beginning enjoyment, of a pleasant gustatory experience determines how soon people desire to repeat that experience. We found that memory for end moments, when people are most satiated, interferes with memory for initial moments. Consequently, end moments are more in...
Article
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Spontaneous thoughts, the output of a broad category of uncontrolled and inaccessible higher order mental processes, arise frequently in everyday life. The seeming randomness by which spontaneous thoughts arise might give people good reason to dismiss them as meaningless. We suggest that it is precisely the lack of control over and access to the pr...
Article
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Money is often used as a proxy for utility in economic and psychological research. Monetary sums are easily calculated and compared, and money is a stimulus with which almost all people are familiar. Even so, hedonic responses to monetary gains and losses are relatively insensitive to the absolute size of those gains and losses, and the subjective...
Article
This research examined the effect of alcohol intoxication on the propensity to behave inequitably and responses to inequitable divisions of rewards. Intoxicated and sober participants played ten rounds of a modified ultimatum game in two studies. Whereas intoxicated and sober participants were similarly generous in the proposals they made to their...
Article
Full-text available
Money is often used as a proxy for utility in economic and psychological research. Monetary sums are easily calculated and compared, and money is a stimulus with which almost all people are familiar. Even so, hedonic responses to monetary gains and losses are relatively insensitive to the absolute size of those gains and losses, and the subjective...
Article
Full-text available
We propose that affective forecasters overestimate the extent to which experienced hedonic responses to an outcome are influenced by the probability of its occurrence. The experience of an outcome (e.g., winning a gamble) is typically more affectively intense than the simulation of that outcome (e.g., imagining winning a gamble) upon which the affe...
Article
Nostalgic preferences are widespread—people believe past movies, music, television shows, places, and periods of life to have been better than their present counterparts. Three experiments explored the cognitive underpinnings of nostalgic preferences. Participants rated past experiences to have been superior to similar present and recent experience...
Article
Full-text available
The mind wanders, even when people are attempting to make complex decisions. We suggest that mind wandering-allowing one's thoughts to wander until the "correct" choice comes to mind-can positively impact people's feelings about their decisions. We compare post-choice satisfaction from choices made by mind wandering to reason-based choices and rand...
Article
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Affective forecasters often exhibit an impact bias, overestimating the intensity and duration of their emotional reaction to future events. Researchers have long wondered whether the impact bias might confer some benefit. We suggest that affective forecasters may strategically overestimate the hedonic impact of events to motivate their production....
Article
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When people predict the future behavior of a person, thinking of that target as an individual decreases the accuracy of their predictions. The present research examined one potential source of this bias, whether and why predictors overweight the atypical past behavior of individuals. The results suggest that predictors do indeed overweight the atyp...
Article
Full-text available
Early investigations of guilt cast it as an emotion that prompts broad reparative behaviors that help guilty individuals feel better about themselves or about their transgressions. The current investigation found support for a more recent representation of guilt as an emotion designed to identify and correct specific social offenses. Across five ex...
Article
Full-text available
Salience and satisfaction are important factors in determining the comparisons that people make. We hypothesized that people make salient comparisons first, and then make satisfying comparisons only if salient comparisons leave them unsatisfied. This hypothesis suggests an asymmetry between winning and losing. For winners, comparison with a salient...
Article
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Overprecision is the most robust type of overconfidence. We present a new method that significantly reduces this bias and offers insight into its underlying cause. In three experiments, overprecision was significantly reduced by forcing participants to consider all possible outcomes of an event. Each participant was presented with the entire range...
Article
The hedonic value of an outcome can be influenced by the alternatives to which it is compared, which is why people expect to be happier with outcomes that maximize comparative value (e.g., the best of several mediocre alternatives) than with outcomes that maximize absolute value (e.g., the worst of several excellent alternatives). The results of fi...
Article
Dual-system models of reasoning attribute errors of judgment to two failures: the automatic operations of a 'System 1' generate a faulty intuition, which the controlled operations of a 'System 2' fail to detect and correct. We identify System 1 with the automatic operations of associative memory and draw on research in the priming paradigm to descr...
Article
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People commonly anthropomorphize nonhuman agents, imbuing everything from computers to pets to gods with humanlike capacities and mental experiences. Although widely observed, the determinants of anthropomorphism are poorly understood and rarely investigated. We propose that people anthropomorphize, in part, to satisfy effectance motivation-the bas...
Article
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People are normally encouraged to engage in premeditation-to think about the potential consequences of their behavior before acting. Indeed, planning, considering, and studying can be important precursors to decision-making, and often seem essential for effective action. This view of premeditation is shared by most humans, a kind of universal ideal...
Article
Full-text available
People are normally encouraged to engage in premeditation — to think about the potential consequences of their behavior before acting. Indeed, planning, considering, and studying can be important precursors to decision-making, and often seem essential for effective action. This view of premeditation is shared by most humans, a kind of universal ide...
Article
Full-text available
This research investigated whether people are more likely to attribute events to external agents when events are negative rather than neutral or positive. Participants more often believed that ultimatum game partners were humans rather than computers when the partners offered unusually unfavorable divisions than unusually favorable divisions (Exper...
Article
People typically demand more to relinquish the goods they own than they would be willing to pay to acquire those goods if they did not already own them (the endowment effect). The standard economic explanation of this phenomenon is that people expect the pain of relinquishing a good to be greater than the pleasure of acquiring it (the loss aversion...