The study was done within the exchange programme between Tilburg University (The Netherlands) and Warsaw University (Poland). It was partly supported by a research grant from the Institute of Social Profilaxy and Resocialization(Warsaw University).
‘Numerical trap’. A new look at outcome representation in studies on choice behaviour†
Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
Copyright © 1988 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 18, Issue 2, pages 143–159, April/June 1988
How to Cite
Grzelak, J. L., Poppe, M., Czwartosz, Z. and Nowak, A. (1988), ‘Numerical trap’. A new look at outcome representation in studies on choice behaviour. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 18: 143–159. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2420180206
- Issue published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 21 JUL 1987
- Manuscript Received: 3 MAR 1987
In almost all experimental studies on choice behaviour the consequences of choices are limited to denumerable goods (usually money) and represented in a numerical way. It is argued that a different way of representing consequences would cause differences in social orientations. In an exploratory study (1) the kind of consequences (money, satisfaction with money and satisfaction with the situation) and (2) the way of representing consequences (numbers, rectangles, and faces) were varied. No differences were found between the three kinds of consequences represented by rectangles. Representation of money by numbers did not differ from representation of money by rectangles. However, subjects in the condition in which satisfaction with money was represented by faces were more cooperative and altruistic and less equality-oriented than subjects in the corresponding condition in which satisfaction with money was represented by rectangles. Additional correlational analyses showed differences between ways of representing consequences. It was concluded that both for theory and for future research it is important to consider how consequences are represented.