Study by Georg Granic shows that past choices do not really change tastes

Erasmus School of Economics

Can you learn to like what you should, even if you didn’t like it initially? Like eating greens, or exercising daily? Past research has often claimed that you could, even without a struggle, by insisting to choose it. You simply might come to like what you choose, as long as those choices are truly yours. 

According to Georg Granic, Associate Professor of Behavioural Economics at Erasmus School of Economics, changing one’s tastes through choices may not be as straightforward as previously thought. In a new study published in the journal Experimental Economics, Georg Granic and co-author Carlos Alós-Ferrer -Professor of Decision and Neuroeconomic Theory, Zurich Center for Neuroeconomics- present a novel test of whether choices change economically relevant tastes: the appetite for money and risk. Granic and Alós-Ferrer conclude that mere-choice-induced change in economic tastes was nonexistent. The entire test is made public and evaluated by the journal before any data was collected. 

So, is this the end for past choices changing tastes? Of course not. In a blogpost on Psychology Today, the world’s largest mental health and behavioural science destination online, co-author Prof. Carlos Alós-Ferrer not only explains the new test in detail, but also discusses how the impact of choices on tastes may depend on the familiarity of the options. Granic and Alós-Ferrer used familiar choice options, money, which was paid out in the test to study participants. However, for unfamiliar options (new things), past choices may very well impact future tastes.

About Georg Granic

Georg Granic is an Associate Professor of Behavioural Economics in the department of Applied Economics of Erasmus School of Economics and co-leader of the Prevention action line within the Smarter Choices for Better Health Initiative. His research interests lie in the intersection of Economics, Political Science, and Psychology. He strongly believes that insights from Economics, Psychology and Political Science can help us bear on important economic and social phenomena enriching our understanding of human behaviour. 

Before coming to Rotterdam, Georg Granic held various positions at the University of Antwerp, the University of Cologne, and New York University. He obtained his PhD in Economics from the University of Konstanz.

Associate professor
More information

For more information, please contact Ronald de Groot, Media & Public Relations Officer at Erasmus School of Economics: and +316 53 641 846.

Compare @count study programme

  • @title

    • Duration: @duration
Compare study programmes