Choices and preferences: Evidence from implicit choices and response times

Carlos Alós-Ferrer, Dura Georg Granić, Fei Shi, Alexander K. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a new experimental paradigm where choice-induced preference change is measured for alternatives which are never compared directly, but rather confronted with other alternatives in a way which keeps choices predictable without exogenously manipulating them. This implicit-choice design improves on the free-choice paradigm, avoiding the recently criticized selection bias. Rating and ranking spreads in two experiments show that preference-based choices feed back into and alter preferences even if choices are not directly among similarly evaluated alternatives. In agreement with recent brain-imaging evidence, response time measurements for direct choice pairs in our experiments indicate that reappraisal processes are already triggered during decision making, with larger post-choice spreads (sharper attitude change) being associated to quicker decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1336-1342
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Choice
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Free-choice paradigm
  • Preference
  • Response time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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