Hedonic value and choice

Jeremy Paul Bagai, University of Pennsylvania


This paper introduces the psychological construct hedonic value : the degree of happiness or sadness felt by the decision-maker at the moment of an outcome's announcement. Three experiments are presented that examine the shape of the hedonic value function and demonstrate how the manipulation of hedonic value alone can affect choice behavior. The primary methodology is to contrast similar tasks under two conditions: one standard, and one in which the hedonic component of the scenario is reduced. In each case the standard version replicates traditional choice effects, while the hedonically challenged version finds those effects reduced or eliminated. The data allow for the evaluation and comparison of several descriptive models of choice.

Subject Area

Cognitive therapy

Recommended Citation

Bagai, Jeremy Paul, "Hedonic value and choice" (1999). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9926093.