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Title: Beyond introspection : an exploration of the correspondence between directly and indirectly elicited preferences
Author: Bilovich, Avri
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 6455
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis aims to explore the limits of introspection, concentrating on the methodological aspect of preference elicitation. I use the comparison between direct and indirect elicitation methods, as well as their use in predicting choices, to explore when people are able to self-report their preferences. Three distinct contexts are used: the purchasing of habitual grocery products, the preferences of ethical consumers, and the political preferences of urban Pakistanis towards the USA. The unreliability of direct elicitation methods, and the superiority of indirect methods in predicting choices that are uncovered in the first study are echoed in the context of ethical consumers. Indeed, even these more deliberative consumers, who reported an increased preference for ethical attributes, are shown to not be able to correctly report the drivers of their decisions. Conversely, the results of the third study indicated that urban Pakistani’s preferences towards the USA were introspectively accessible: both types of elicitation methods were aligned in their results and were robust to short term attempts to change them. This thesis contributes to the debate on the limits of introspection in several ways. Firstly, I demonstrate the inaccessibility of preferences for often experienced and purchased goods, even for more deliberative and attribute-conscious shoppers such as ethical consumers. I also demonstrate that unlike these preferences, political attitudes are more introspectively accessible. The work also presents a number of practical outcomes, such as the usability of lexicographic choice models with directly elicited preferences, as well as the plurality of ethical consumers’ concerns. Finally, the robustness of political attitudes in Pakistan to actual pro-American advertisements indicate the need for a change of strategy in promoting the USA’s positive impact in the country.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HF Commerce