Document Type

Honors Paper


Stuart Vyse

Publication Date



The present experiment used the choice blindness methodology to examine introspection, self-knowledge, and the instability of preferences within the domain of consumer choice. The sample consisted of 60 participants between the ages of 18 and 23. Participants completed a consumer goods questionnaire that contained the choice blindness manipulation of either the price or the other attributes of the laptop item and a demographic questionnaire. A strong choice blindness effect was established and over 70% of participants failed to detect the manipulation of the laptop item. Participants were also significantly more likely to detect the manipulation of the laptop’s price than the other choice attributes. While participants who originally chose the cheaper laptop were more likely to detect the manipulation, this difference was not significant. Interestingly, out of the participants who did not detect the manipulation, many people gave verbal justification and reasoning for the choice they did not originally pick. Most of these justifications were self-contradictory, in which participants rated either the price or the other specific attribute(s) that they justified to be very important in their initial decision prior to the switch. The results demonstrated that preferences are not only constructed to make a particular choice, but are also shaped by the outcome of a decision. Practical implications for choice blindness in consumer decision-making and directions for future research are discussed.

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Psychology Commons



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.