Research Summary

Evaluating Transactions

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Description

I also study how people judge potential transactions.  We often think of purchase decisions as straightforward: a consumer buys a product if he expects the benefits to outweigh the price, sometimes after shopping around for the best deal.  In practice, however, a complex set of considerations—fairness, habits, expectations about future purchase opportunities—can influence judgments.  I examine these factors and the sometimes unconscious role they play in purchase decisions.

My research also explores how we evaluate selling transactions.  Selling is interesting in part because consumers are generally inexperienced sellers, and because the things we sell (houses, used cars) often have uncertain value.  I study how these differences affect selling decisions, and whether the difficulty of judging sales transactions justifies consumers’ reliance on expensive experts such as real estate agents.