Loss Aversion, Intellectual Inertia, and a Call for a More Contrarian Science: A Reply to Simonson & Kivetz and Higgins & Liberman

David Gal*, Derek D. Rucker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Higgins and Liberman (2018) and Simonson and Kivetz (2018) offer scholarly and stimulating perspectives on loss aversion and the implications for the sociology of science of its acceptance as a virtual law of nature. In our view, Higgins and Liberman (2018) largely complement our conclusion that the empirical evidence does not support loss aversion. Moreover, in alignment with our call for a contextualized perspective, they provide an excellent discourse on how a more nuanced view of reference points and consumers’ regulatory focus enriches our understanding of the psychological impact of losses and gains. Simonson and Kivetz (2018) approached our perspective with skepticism, and, while they retain some skepticism, they express agreement on the larger point that loss aversion has been accepted too uncritically. Both commentaries point to a need for a critical reevaluation of prevailing paradigms. Here, we build on these perspectives, as well as our experience working on the topic of loss aversion, to call for structural changes to facilitate scholarly debate on science's status quo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Contrarian science
  • Loss aversion
  • Sociology of science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing

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