Marketing Letters

, 19:383 | Cite as

How behavioral decision research can enhance consumer welfare: From freedom of choice to paternalistic intervention

  • Rebecca K. Ratner
  • Dilip Soman
  • Gal Zauberman
  • Dan Ariely
  • Ziv Carmon
  • Punam A. Keller
  • B. Kyu Kim
  • Fern Lin
  • Selin Malkoc
  • Deborah A. Small
  • Klaus Wertenbroch


Decision-making researchers have largely focused on showing errors and biases in consumers' decision-making processes without paying much attention to the social welfare and policy implications of these systematic behaviors. In this paper, we explore how findings and methods in behavioral decision research can be used to help consumers improve their decision making and enhance their well-being. We first review select findings in behavioral decision research to explain why consumers need help in decisions, and based on these findings, suggest various interventions that could be effective within the scope of libertarian paternalism. Ethics and effectiveness of the interventions are also discussed.


Behavioral decision research Consumers Interventions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca K. Ratner
    • 1
  • Dilip Soman
    • 2
  • Gal Zauberman
    • 3
  • Dan Ariely
    • 4
  • Ziv Carmon
    • 5
  • Punam A. Keller
    • 6
  • B. Kyu Kim
    • 3
  • Fern Lin
    • 3
  • Selin Malkoc
    • 7
  • Deborah A. Small
    • 3
  • Klaus Wertenbroch
    • 8
  1. 1.Robert H. Smith School of BusinessUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Rotman SchoolUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Wharton SchoolUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA
  5. 5.INSEADSingaporeSingapore
  6. 6.Tuck School of BusinessDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  7. 7.Olin Business SchoolWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  8. 8.INSEADFontainebleauFrance

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