Bringing meaning to numbers: The impact of evaluative categories on decisions.
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2009
Decision makers are often quite poor at using numeric information in decisions. The results of 4 experiments
demonstrate that a manipulation of evaluative meaning (i.e., the extent to which an attribute can be mapped
onto a good/bad scale; this manipulation is accomplished through the addition of visual boundary lines and
evaluative labels to a graphical format) has a robust influence in health judgments and choices and across
diverse adult populations. The manipulation resulted in greater use of numeric quality-of-care information in
judgments and less reliance on an irrelevant affective state among the less numerate. Recall results for
provided quality-of-care numbers suggested that the manipulation did not influence depth of number processing
with the exception of cost information that was not remembered as well. Results of a reaction-time
paradigm revealed that feelings were more accessible than thoughts in the presence of the manipulation,
suggesting that the effect may be due, at least in part, to an affective mechanism. Numeric information is often
provided in decisions, but may not be usable by consumers without assistance from information providers.
Implications for consumer decision making and the functions of affect are discussed.